Its Competitors Make Noise, But A.P.C. Is Happy To Make Clothes

by MR Magazine Staff

There is an indelible truth about A.P.C., the willfully anonymous French fashion label that has been quietly going about its business for three decades, one that is both right and not quite right. It concerns the clothes that A.P.C. makes, and also its ambitions, the A.P.C. epithet and albatross: “This eternal thing: ‘They do basics,’” said Jean Touitou, the A.P.C. founder, sitting at his dining table, battling back his bugbear of decades. “This has been for 30 years.” Because Mr. Touitou, 65, is a gravelly philosopher of bearish proportions, given to lengthy digressions on his pet causes, and because, though he is thoughtful, he can also be fierce, you might, with a nervous twinge, cast your eye down to the dark indigo jeans you are wearing (which you acquired in 2006), or think back to the powder-blue oxford shirt at home in your closet, unshowy but unfailingly appropriate, and think to yourself, “Well … don’t they?” They do and they don’t. A.P.C.’s clothing is defiantly normal — regular, needful, closet filling — and has been since it was founded, so modestly that originally it did not even have a name. (Mr. Touitou tagged it only “Hiver 87” — that is to say, winter 1987.) The journey of 30 years, chronicled in a free-ranging scrapbook and history Mr. Touitou has compiled and which will be published next month as “Transmission,” has in some ways not taken it far from that original ideal. In a business like fashion, where surface appeal can be a kind of sorcery, and surrealism often mistaken for genius, to make simple clothes is to invite being overlooked. But as upstarts have flamed out and even historic houses faded, A.P.C. has soldiered along. Go into one of the cooler neighborhoods of the cooler cities in the world — New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Tokyo — and there is not one A.P.C. store, but several. Read more at The New York Times.