APC has carved out a niche for itself ever since its birth in the 1980s. Long before the continuing fad for minimalism returned to fashion’s centre stage, Jean Toitou’s brand of unisex, utilitarian French style garnered a firm following. A constant insider secret, APC’s classic jeans in the best quality denim were practically compulsory work wear for any fashion stylist by the mid-1990s.
APC collections for men and women based around jeans and other essential basics such as sweaters, t-shirts, denim and simple coats have retained their loyal customers. Collections are almost always built around blocks of solid colour, whether militaristic neutrals or French nautical red, white and blue, and they seldom deploy busy prints or pattern. Toitou’s garments have also always shown a preference for slim, clean lines and an absence of ostentatious branding or visible labels.
For decades APC occupied a fairly exclusive market, not because their clothes were very expensive – on the contrary, APC garments have remained surprisingly affordable compared with others of a similar pedigree – but because they were only available through a relatively small number of outlets. Today things have changed. You can buy online and at an increased number of flagship stores and multi-brand stockists dotted around the world.
Something else has changed too. For more than two decades APC produced only a very specific, intentionally limited range of jeans silhouettes, precisely that perfect cut that the stylists so admired. Today they are a little more accommodating, with styles to suit those who can’t do without their skinny jeans as well as diehard classicists who wouldn’t be caught dead in anything other than the Japanese raw-denim selvage straight-leg beauties.
Since good jeans are perennially in style, great for unpredictable weather and exceedingly comfortable if they are cut well – even more so now that APC has made the concession to include stretch denim options in its range – you could do a lot worse for the return on your modest investment in a pair of APC jeans. As the converted will tell you, they are a classic that no one’s wardrobe should lack. And if you favour style over fads, chances are there will be a few other attractive items that will grab your attention in any collection.