With stores all over the world, located not according to market trends, but the whims of A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou, today marks the opening of another clean and conceptual Parisian abode, the seventh store in the home city of the label.
Started in 1987 in aversion to the extravagant 80s fashion scene, A.P.C. replaced excess with minimalism in a stripped down aesthetic of simple lines, block colours and what they call ‘Parisian chic’. Designed by architect Laurent Deroo, less is more in the new store, reasserting the brand’s core principles. Set on the pretty Rue Royale, it boasts a smart, angular interior using light and panelling to oh-so clever effect. To mark the occasion, i-D Online had the pleasure of talking to Touitou about his disdain of LOUD fashion, his favourite stores and the world at large. Keep it simple, that’s the ticket.
Where was the first A.P.C. store and what was it like? It was Rue Princesse in Paris, across the street from the ‘Village Voice’ bookshop space, in a courtyard, and was a mix of show-room/store/office/fabric storage.
How do you choose where to open your stores, is it market led or just personal preference? The market never leads my choice. It will have to do more with the street proportions, the street name, the space’s vibes. Of course that “method” could also make wrong moves happen, like in All Saints Road in London a few years ago.
Of all the A.P.C. stores, do you have a favourite? The one with no clothes, Rue de Varenne in Paris.
You started a record label in your early career, what are you listening to these days? I change playlists of what I listen to very often, lately, I’m listening to lot of Wagner remixes.
You started A.P.C. in 1987, how was it received in the context of the 80s fashion scene? The 80s were ugly to me. Now that ugliness has become a visual reference to do nice things, how funny and ironic.
How did people react to understated, minimalist clothing? Well some (the Italians mostly) thought it was just a trend that would last 6 months. Some hate it. Clearly. I still love minimalism. I even love doing frigid clothes, for very un-frigid people that is.
What’s inspiring you at the moment? Arthur Schopenhauer, Toots & The Maytals, and the sea weather reports.
You are known for your political views, do you believe in the greatest good for the greatest number? Yes, but we just have to get rid of a few people before we achieve that.
How do you balance fashion with politics? Does it make life harder? I don’t balance this and that. There are no politics in fashion and what is fashion anyways. It just doesn’t exist. Fashion is a thing without culture, politics or morals, it’s just a corpus of signs and codes to make idiots look sort of cool. Well if a cool person dresses well too, that doesn’t hurt of course. The good news is that it’s possible to exist as a human without feeding the fashion beast.
Parisians are well known for their simple, chic dress sense. In your opinion, why do they dress so well? Probably they have a tendency of not “over killing” an idea and also, I must say there is so much Celine knock-off these days, that’s why you feel Parisians look good!
A.P.C. at 23 Rue Royale 75008 Paris is open now.