MBCY Read to Wear: Diving into the A.P.C. universe

3. August 2023

A.P.C. has quietly built a reputation for doing ordinary, contemporary fashion and doing it extremely well. We took a closer look at the history behind the Atelier de Production et de Création.

Founded by Jean Touitou in 1987 without a name, the pieces were branded only with a tag indicating the season “Hiver 87” (Winter 87). The minimalist approach of the brand was a response to the brand-conscious, logo-heavy fashion of the 1980s.


Based in Paris’ Sixth Arrondissement, A.P.C. creates timeless silhouettes, which are sophisticated yet easy to wear. The brand captures the essence of French style in every item of clothing it releases – from dress shirts and knitwear to crewneck sweatshirts and raw denim jeans.


Always focusing on the fundamentals, the brand has grown organically over the last 36 years. Today, A.P.C. is still owned by Jean Touitou with his wife Judith leading the studio and creative direction. With a passion for fibers and threads, Jean Touitou considers himself a producer rather than a designer.


Denim has been the key element in A.P.C.’s success. Looking for the raw denim that his parents purchased from army surplus stores after migrating to Paris from Tunisia, he approached a Japanese denim specialist. The deep indigo-dyed and stiff Japanese selvage denim jeans quickly gained a cult following – particularly in Japan.

A.P.C. entered the Japanese market in the time, when French fashion was almost exploiting its reputation with overpriced products. Along came A.P.C. with its firm philosophy, attention to detail and quality with a reasonable price tag. Now, Japan is the label’s biggest market.


Not much has changed since the fierce French-Tunisian started his brand with the money he made designing for other labels. Jean Touitou does not answer to investors. He does not trust bankers and does not like being told what to do. Almost all profits are reinvested in research, always prepared to make a loss when taking risks to realize his radical vision.

One of these risks was collaborating with his friend Kanye West in 2013, allowing him his first venture in fashion long before Yeezy. The capsule collection included two pairs of Japanese selvage denim jeans, two oversized shirts, two basic long-sleeve hoodies and one short-sleeve hoodie.

As was to be expected from a project with Kanye West’s name attached to it, the collection sold out quickly despite being ridiculed by many for its simplicity. However, it is a quintessentially A.P.C. approach to hip-hop fashion staples with meticulous attention to detail.


Jean Touitou himself often describes A.P.C. as “normal” or “boring” – and that was always the goal. The Atelier der Production et Création was always intended to be a discreet label with a down-to-earth appearance. It deliberately refrains from big advertising campaigns and spectacular runway shows to focus all its resources on producing and creating excellent clothing.