The Kanye Effect: A.P.C. Founder Titled Portion Of 2015 Collection 'Last Ni**as In Paris'
Thanks to Kanye West's seal of approval, it looks like certain designers are getting comfortable utilizing N-bombs. Kanye joined forces with A.P.C.'s Jean Touitou for a simple denim and t-shirt collection in 2013, then again for more sophisticated looks a year later.
Touitou must feel quite connected and comfortable with Ye, because his newest A.P.C. collection pulls directly from West's controversial use of race-related culture.
During a fashion presentation of his 2015 Fall/Winter collection last Saturday (Jan. 24), the A.P.C. founder titled a portion of the collection "Last Ni**as in Paris," a nod to Ye's Jay Z collaboration, "Ni**as in Paris." Style.com was on hand to document Touitou's iffy narration:
Touitou ushered in a quartet of models wearing three different cuts of a camel overcoat and one check, all matched with gray sweatpants and A.P.C.-designed Timberlands. 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…"
Of course that raised more than a few eyebrows in the room. But it's all good! He's "excused" because he got the green light from Mr. West himself.
"One hip-hop song is called 'N***** in Paris.' One movie is called 'Last Tango in Paris,'" he told Style.com in a followup interview. "I made looks which are a cross-over of those two references: the Timberland shoes and the sweat pants are iconic of hip-hop, and the camel hair color coat, worn with nothing under it, is iconic of that precise movie. 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.'"
Well, if Kanye's okay with it...
Photo Credit: Getty Images, A.P.C.