Jean Touitou, founder of the renowned Parisian brand A.P.C., pens a compelling open letter addressing the fashion industry. Within this letter, he staunchly defends his decision to cancel A.P.C.’s scheduled Paris runway show in March while emphasizing the crucial role of fostering a strong sense of community during these challenging times.
A.P.C.’s bold choice to call off its runway show on March 2, amidst the emerging threat of the coronavirus, elicited diverse reactions from the French fashion community. Jean Touitou remains resolute, asserting that this decision was an essential step to prioritize the health and well-being of both his teams and guests. He firmly believes this choice reflects a sense of morality and responsibility.
In this introspective and candid letter, Jean Touitou reflects on the genesis of A.P.C., tracing the brand’s origins back to the mid-80s—a period marked by extravagant shoulder pads and ostentatious styles. Fueled by a desire to challenge prevailing fashion norms, he embarked on a mission to create an aesthetic sanctuary that countered the excesses of the era.
Touitou delves into the challenges faced by the fashion industry, including relentless schedules, the growing influence of advertising and wealth, and the portrayal of superficial values that he finds repugnant. He highlights the need for greater progress in addressing the objectification of women, despite strides made since the feminist movements of the 1970s.
Amid the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis and reflecting on his life’s work, Touitou contemplates whether there’s a purpose in persevering. He momentarily entertains the idea of retiring but is ultimately drawn back by the thought of A.P.C.’s legacy and the vibrant community it has nurtured over the years.
He expresses profound gratitude to all those who have contributed to A.P.C.’s journey, recognizing that collaboration and shared efforts have been pivotal to the brand’s enduring success.
Touitou concludes by articulating his unwavering commitment to A.P.C.’s core values. He remains dedicated to creating wearable, sustainable clothing that empowers individuals to express themselves authentically. He emphasizes his desire to leave an aesthetic imprint through fashion imagery shaped by photographers and stylists, rather than corporate interests.
Moreover, Touitou envisions a future where A.P.C. engages in artistic projects that recycle fabrics and clothing, promoting sustainability. He aspires to build stronger customer relationships through clothing recycling programs and loyalty initiatives. Above all, he underscores the importance of nurturing a sense of community within the A.P.C. universe.
In these transformative times, Touitou believes A.P.C.’s commitment to minimalism will be regarded as a virtue, aligning perfectly with a future characterized by simplicity and sustainability.
This profoundly personal letter, marked by its sincerity, offers profound insight into the philosophy behind A.P.C. and Jean Touitou’s unwavering dedication to a «reasonable utopia» in the face of tumultuous change.