In the kind of paradox more worthy of theoretical physics than fashion, it’s simultaneously hard and easy to believe French fashion label A.P.C. has been around for over three decades, despite that making perfect sense. The brand is, after all, the very definition of chic utilitarianism – and what’s more consistently on trend than that, even 20 years into the ‘new’ millennium? As a brand, it is both effortlessly timeless and a true encapsulation of the zeitgeist.
Founded in 1987 by French-Tunisian designer Jean Touitou and unisex from the word go (see what we mean about the timeless-zeitgeist paradox?), even its name was chosen for function over fabulousness. ‘Without production, creation remains at the idea stage,’ Touitou has said. ‘And without creation, a garment will have no soul.’
Hence, The Atelier de Production et de Création (Production and Creation Workshop), or A.P.C. which, to this day pairs elegance with utility in a way that, according to many fashion insiders, is unrivalled across the industry.
Exhibit one: A.P.C.’s raw denim jeans for men and women. Not only have they long been a cult wear for denim aficionados, they were the inspiration for Hedi Slimane’s famed noughties Dior Homme collection, from which countless other homages were spawned.
Exhibit two: the current colab with Carhartt WIP which sees the return of the brands’ previous successful partnerships in 2011 and 2013. As capsule collections go, it’s pretty much the definition of the A.P.C. approach – perfectly edited, perfectly practical and perfectly realised, with nothing superfluous to requirements (give or take a couple of pieces of jewellery, but even minimalists need a little bling now and then, right?).