Leather is one of those materials that automatically transform a regular dude into an instant cool guy. Fashionable celebrities are rocking leather this winter, and there are plenty of must-have leather items to own this season. Designer Louis Wong is one person who is providing great leather options this winter.
Under the French fashion house A.P.C., the designer created a capsule collection of leather jackets featuring some of the most iconic silhouettes of all time: the aviator, the bomber, and the motorcycle jacket. GQ caught up with the designer to see how the collaboration—dropping now at A.P.C locations—came about and how hard it was to source the materials. Read excerpts below, then the rest of the interview on GQ’s website.
GQ: How did you start to discuss this line with Jean at A.P.C. in the first place?
Louis Wong: I've been at A.P.C. for eight years so at some point you end up having a really close relationship. It's a small team and I think Jean had enough trust in me. He already offered me something like that a few years ago, about maybe launching a side project, but A.P.C. is such a big project already and I didn't want to do something just for the sake of it. So I just had this idea in mind to focus on one specific item.
At first I thought I would really like to do knitwear but that's already such a big part of A.P.C. and I wanted to focus on something different from the A.P.C. range. Jean started in leather actually, his father was in the leather business, and so he was really keen on the idea.
GQ: Did the imagery from French cinema inform the bomber silhouette? Or did that come from a style you've had or like to wear?
Wong: Actually I have a few vintage leather jackets in my closet but mostly it's because in fashion I've always been obsessed with French movies and you know, like Gérard Depardieu. In French cinema these guys are always really well dressed but still a bit casual. They look a bit rough, which was something important because with A.P.C. it's always about a clean outfit, a casual outfit. It doesn't refer so much to masculinity as it does a cool outfit. But in my personal taste I like that there is a certain attitude, something a bit masculine. That's why I like this kind of reference.
GQ: Was sourcing details like that hard?
Wong: The sourcing was really, really tough but I knew it existed because I saw the zippers in Japan. I saw new garments with them and I became obsessed. I was like "we have to find it." That was the most important. I think that is the detail that tells you it is a proper leather jacket.