A.P.C.’s founder Jean Touitou has dubbed his 2015 Fall/Winter collection “Last N****s In Paris,” apparently with the authorization of Kanye West himself.
Mr. West is no stranger to working with the Parisian fashion label, having joined forces with them in both 2013 and 2014.
The unveiling of the collection went down during the final weekend of fashion week in Paris last Saturday (January 24). Style.com was in attendance for the launch, offering a play-by-play of what went down:
“Touitou ushered in a quartet of models wearing three different cuts of a camel overcoat and one check, all matched with gray sweatpants and A.P.C.-designed Timberlands. Then he held up a sign that said, ‘Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS,’ and gave us this exposition:
“I call this one look Last N****s in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ‘hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie Last Tango in Paris. So that’s ‘N****s in Paris’ and Last N****s in Paris. [Nervous laughter from audience.] Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it’s nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it’s bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland…’ And on he went. Touitou likes to be irreverent. But what he said here seemed ill considered, at the very least.”
However, according to Touitou, Kanye West was digging his “vibe” when he wrote to the Chicago rapper regarding his vision.
“I made looks which are a cross-over of those two references: the Timberland shoes and the sweat pants are iconic of hip-hop, and the camel hair color coat, worn with nothing under it, is iconic of that precise movie,” Jean Touitou says. “I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded ‘Ni**as in Paris’ with Jay Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship. As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, ‘I love this vibe.’”
As most would have anticipated, a string of controversy has ensued regarding the title of A.P.C.’s latest collection. According to Vibe, the team of Timberland’s President, Stewart Whitney, contacted the publication to release a statement revealing that the iconic footwear company will be immediately terminating their involvement with A.P.C.
“Yesterday we became aware of the offensive remarks made by Jean Touitou during his A.P.C. Fall Menswear show in Paris. We have chosen to immediately terminate our involvement with the A.P.C. brand, including the footwear collaboration we had planned for this fall.
Since, Jean Toutou has apologized to Timberland with the following statement:
“When describing our brand’s latest collaboration, I spoke recklessly using terms that were both ignorant and offensive. I apologize and am deeply regretful for my poor choice of words, which are in no way a reflection of my personal views.”
To view A.P.C.’s 2015 Fall/Winter collection, click here.