This past weekend, A.P.C.'s Jean Touitou presented his Fall/Winter 2015 collection, which if you missed it, includes a Timberland collaboration.
While the conversation was about the clothes and boot themselves, here's something else worth nothing: Touitou called a portion of his collection "Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS."
Style.com is reporting that at one point, Touitou held up a sign with the line, arguably made famous by Kanye West and Jay Z. He also said: "I call this one look Last Ni**as in Paris. Why? Because it's the sweet spot when the hood—the 'hood—meets Bertolucci's movie Last Tango in Paris. So that's 'Ni**as in Paris' and Last Ni**as in Paris. [Nervous laughter from audience.] Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it's nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it's bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland…"
It's no secret that Touitou is a very opinionated man, who basically says whatever he wants. But maybe he shouldn't have said that?
Style.com reached out to Touitou following his presentation, and the designer explained his previous, rather ballsy, statement.
"One hip-hop song is called 'Ni**as in Paris.' One movie is called 'Last Tango in Paris,'" he said. "I made looks which are a cross-over of those two references: the Timberland shoes and the sweat pants are iconic of hip-hop, and the camel hair color coat, worn with nothing under it, is iconic of that precise movie. I am friends with Kanye [West, who recorded" 'Ni**as in Paris' with Jay Z], and he and I presented a joint collection at the same place, one year ago, and that this thing is only a homage to our friendship. As a matter of fact, when I came up with this idea, I wrote to him, with the picture of the look and the name I was giving to it, and he wrote back immediately saying something like, 'I love this vibe.'"
UPDATE 01/28/2015: We just got word that Timberland has decided to cut ties with A.P.C. after learning of Jean Touitou's controversial remarks during his men's Fall/Winter 2015 presentation in Paris. "We have chosen to immediately terminate our involvement with the A.P.C. brand," Timberland president Stewart Whitney said in a statement. What's worse, those dope six-inch Timberland x A.P.C. boots planned for fall will no longer be in production.
'Simply stated, this kind of language and approach is in complete contrast with our values," Whitney added. "Timberland seeks to collaborate with designers and brands who are at the forefront of lifestyle trends; equally important, they must also share our values. We will not tolerate offensive language or racial slurs of any kind being associated with the Timberland brand."