A.P.C.'s Jean Touitou Repeats N-Word During Menswear Presentation
The founder apparently got approval from Kanye West for the idea behind his latest collection.
Well, this is awkward. During A.P.C.'s fall menswear presentation, founder Jean Touitou presented the brand's spring 2015 collection with a live narration that involved using the n-word repeatedly.
The collection — titled "Last N—s in Paris" (a nod to Jay Z and Kanye West's 2011 hit single, "N—s in Paris" and the 1972 film Last Tango in Paris) — featured the brand's collab with Timberland, with the models seen posing in camel overcoats and A.P.C.-designed Timberlands. According to Style.com, here's what happened as Touitou introduced his new line:
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.
In a follow-up statement to Style.com, Touitou explained that he got the approval to go forth with the idea from Yeezy, his former A.P.C. collaborator.
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.'
Even so, Touitou is still walking on rocky ground for using a racial slur.