Minimalism revolutionized fashion. During the early years of the industry, when haute couture still reigned supreme, extravagance was the only style applicable. The silhouette, the structure, the shape, the color, the embroidery—everything had to be eye-catching. The elaborate couture sensibilities dominated in the early half of the 20th century and even the people who couldn’t’ afford high fashion wore clothes that exemplified the same design principles.
However, from the 1950’s onwards, people began favoring simpler and sleeker styles. From this came the emergences of casual fashion, which is a lot simpler, less rigid, yet more personal than haute couture. A lot of brands that started in the latter half of the 20th century embraced the casual style—one of them is A.P.C.
A.P.C. or Atelier de Production et de Création is a French ready-to-wear brand. It focuses on the hip and young consumer who’d rather spend his/her money in buying boatloads of casual fashions than investing in one expensive suit. Its style is quintessentially French, with such “je nais se quoi” appeal and nonchalant glamour. The brand is now one of the most beloved by young consumers, a lot of which have embraces the trendy yet relaxed styles of the 21st century.
Apart from their relaxed edge, A.P.C. is also known for their spin on military-inspired fashions. From camouflage neutral tones to strong silhouettes, the brand’s outerwear is heavily influenced by the army’s uniforms. They boast an array of parkas, coats, and jackets, that can double as fashion pieces and military garb. A lot of their pieces also have the strictness of soldier uniforms, but made in various materials to keep label’s signature relaxed quirk. Such items include buttoned-up collared denim shirts and fitted jeans. However, no matter how tailored and strict their silhouettes might get, the clothes still look comfortable, relaxed, and casual.
Another of the signature styles is their denim. French style heavily consists of denim pieces, from fitted jackets to skinny jeans. But for A.P.C. however, their denim is raw and relaxed, consistent with their brand’s identifiable aesthetic. One of their most famous items is the men’s raw denim selvedge jeans. It has become an iconic piece itself in the world of menswear. With its faded design and slouchy silhouette, many customers have fallen in love with such a statement piece. Even if it’s slouchy, it makes the legs look miles long, and can still look sophisticated with the right paired top.
The brand is founded by French-Tunisian designer Jean Touitou in Paris in 1987. He previously worked for Paris-based Japanese brand Kenzo for a couple of years then worked as ghost designer for other French houses. During this time, the fashions of the day were as ostentatious as one gets. Haute couture was booming with new designers creating their majestic collections. In ready-to-wear, many of the Italian brands were focusing on exuberance and sex appeal, while Paris welcomed Belgian and Japanese avant-garde designers to show off their work. Touitou didn’t like the trends he saw of that period, so he established his own brand that specializes in simple, casual, yet still high-quality clothing.
Before officially opening A.P.C., Touitou discovered a roll of high-quality selvedge denim from Japan. He became so interested in the material so much that he started designing pieces with it, giving birth to one his label’s most famous signatures. He also sought after weavers to make him unique types of denim and other materials, making sure that his pieces will all be one of a kind, even though the style is casual and very accessible. With such resources at his disposal, he opened his label in the late 1980’s and continues on to look over his company even to this day.
Today, A.P.C. is one of the most accessible brands in the industry today. They’re available in many cities across the world, including Antwerp in Belgium, Los Angeles in the United States, Osaka in Japan, Berlin in Germany, and Melbourne in Australia, among others. In these said cities, the brand has opened flagship stores. The label is also carried by some of the most prominent retailers in the fashion industry, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Since their primary targets are mostly younger consumers, they’ve also formed a huge online retail presence, available in websites like Net-A-Porter, MR. PORTER, and Shopbop.
Glamour is no longer exclusive to haute couture styles. Casual chic has become the name of the game in fashion today, and none has embraced such a style quite like A.P.C. Their devotion to offering consumers a relaxed yet refined selection knows no bounds, and they always aim to move forward with their sleek and steady aesthetic. From denim to military style, the fashion of today’s generation was formed quite vividly by Mr Touitou and his A.P.C. brand.