A.P.C.: Hysterically Normal

The Look: A.P.C.’s new men’s collection lands online today, and, as always, the unspoken mantra is less is more. You’ll find no shiny logos or gaudy derrière pockets here. What you will find are perfectly cut cardigans, classically cool coats, and a denim shirt without a hint of western kitsch.

The brand’s bio describes this aesthetic as “hysterically normal.” While that first reads like a clumsy translation from A.P.C.’s native French, chances are it’s totally intentional. Minimalism this pervasive doesn’t happen by accident—founder Jean Touitou and team are fanatical about nailing the small stuff. “The A.P.C. team agonize over the choice of a button, the length of a [hem], or other hidden subtleties,” the bio continues. “Often more time is spent stripping down a garment to its bare basics to avoid over-designing.”

Touitou once used the analogy of a chef preparing steak au poivre: “If the meat’s no good, he’s going to focus on the sauce.” With A.P.C., there is no sauce. Just killer materials, prepared masterfully.

 

The Vibe: If you think minimalism is synonymous with spaced-out electronic music, think again. Check out the raucous soundtrack, namedropping favorite punk and metal bands, on A.P.C.’s 25th anniversary video, above.

Rock and roll is a genre of music, sure—but it’s also an attitude: an irrepressible urge to buck the status quo. Touitou (a former record label owner who was quick to build a music studio at A.P.C. headquarters), founded A.P.C. in 1987, during an era he saw as over-the-top, indulgent, ugly. Poison and Mötley Crüe topped the charts. It’s no coincidence that Nirvana, like-minded proponents of a stripped-down aesthetic (and cardigans), formed the very same year.

 

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