A.P.C. and LA Are Going Strong Five Years Later

Published February 14, 2012

Admist a wave of French brands opening stores in the US, A.P.C. is celebrating its LA shop’s fifth anniversary. A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou “is not a fan of huge parties” so the anniversary will be a simple affair, held outside in the parking lot next to the store with a few friends and Mexican food from Koreatown. While the A.P.C. aesthetic—utilitarian, simple, and decidedly French chic—might not scream Los Angeles, the brand is thriving on the West Coast. “[LA] is loud, it’s true, but still there’s a lot of people who care what we do, or other brands do. There are a lot of elegant people… there’s a tradition of elegance in Los Angeles,” explains Touitou.

In the next five years, A.P.C. hopes to open 10 more stores worldwide; the brand is currently looking into Chicago and Venice. It’s a modest plan—Alexander Wang intends to open 14 stores over the coming year in China alone—but A.P.C. likes to take time to over each store design. “Every time it’s a different architectural project, we don’t have a formula,” says Touitou. “It’s more challenging.” Their newest store, located in the West Village, is only a few days old; “Sometimes I find the West Village more beautiful than Paris,” muses Touitou. It’s best not to ask Touitou what he thinks of his West Village neighbors, the slew of other French boutiques targeting the American market. Instead, Jean prefers to talk about the designers and stylists he admires: “Anybody that has a proper atelier, and does actual designing,” such as Azzedine Alaïa, Phoebe Philo, and our own Karl Templer.  As Touitou informs us, “I think [Karl] is one of the most gifted and creative spirits, he takes chances to do something different every time. You’re lucky to have him.”