It’s impossible to argue with French brand A.P.C. and the indelible mark the brand has left on the menswear landscape. As one of the pioneering denim brands they introduced a whole generation of men to the world of raw selvedge denim, while continually releasing minimal yet timelessly chic collections infused with the sort of Parisian je ne sais quoi that their peers can only dream of.

GQ recently sat down with their founder, Jean Touitou, to discuss a range of topics – including the secrets of A.P.C.’s success, the denim market, wearing a sarong around the office, and the (completely inappropriate) “Normcore” tag that some have unwisely branded the label with. Hardly surprising given his outspoken nature, the designer shows no fear in telling it exactly how it is.

“How has the denim industry changed since you founded A.P.C. in 1987?

I don’t look at the denim industry. It’s not interesting to me.

You don’t look at what any other brands are doing at all?

No. No, because that is not interesting to me. If I were a customer, I would do a survey about the brands that are out there. Why should I look at that if I am doing it myself? A baker makes his own bread. He doesn’t go to the other bakeries for bread.

Don’t you want to know how other people are trying to do denim better than you?

I don’t want to know how other people are trying to knock me off. That’s a bit disturbing. But I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care. There’s nothing that could make me jealous.

You also said you don’t want A.P.C. to be known as “The House of Normcore.”

Well, I got sick of all these new names. Normcore is not what we do. The thing about men’s fashion is, if you push too much on the fashion button, the guy will end up looking ridiculous. A guy that looks too fashionable is not sexy for even one quarter of a second. All girls will tell you this, and all gay men will tell you the same. It’s very difficult to do men’s fashion, because you know aggressive fashion will be ridiculous. But it doesn’t mean you do basic minimalism. I know it’s a hard thing to understand, but it’s the truth.

Read the full interview over at GQ.com.

Words by Alec Leach
Digital Fashion Editor

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's digital fashion content.

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