Kanye West may think he’s the “number-one living rock star” and compare himself to history-making notables like Steve Jobs and Michael Jordan, but there are still people in the world who don’t recognize his name or know what he does for a living. Case in point: Jean Touitou, the founder of French fashion house A.P.C. who ended up collaborating with the pomposity-prone rapper on a capsule collection.
In a refreshingly candid press release, Touitou remembers his first meeting with Kim Kardashian‘s baby daddy. “Over two years ago, a visitor to the A.P.C. studio was announced to me as ‘Kenny.’ He wanted my advice on the fashion industry; although I found such a request quite vague, as a mutual friend introduced us, I met with the guy,” Touitou said. “The guy talks, talks and talks and I was having a good time listening. He had nice manners and spoke about losing his mother [Donda West] in a surgery accident, about losing his girlfriend too, and about how difficult doing the right thing in fashion was. After a while, I was curious to know what this gentleman was currently doing in his life. I simply asked him: ‘May I know what your trade is, sir?’ He took his shades down, so that finally I could see his eyes, and answered me: ‘I am a hip hop artist.’ “
Thankfully, someone on his staff finally clued him in on just who West is. “At some point my crew informed me that his name was West, Kanye West. I introduced him to the A.P.C. design studio, and he kept asking how he could start something in that fashion industry. This is when we all advised him to start that something in France, and keep quiet about fashion noise while learning about it. Then later, as we became friends, he invited me to his recording studio at Hotel Meurice. At the time he was working with Jay-Z on an album, which wasn’t already named, Watch the Throne. Over the months, we kept hanging out and finally came up with the idea of doing a small capsule collection of clothes together. ‘Small’ meaning that this capsule collection consists of a jean, a hoodie and a T-Shirt. Those are precious to me and to Kanye too, because it took time and thoughts to get there.”
The French label confirmed via Twitter on Sunday, July 7 that the A.P.C. Kanye capsule collection will be available in its stores and online on July 14 (Bastille Day!), starting at 10 a.m.; West, in an atypical show of humility, later tweeted, “Thank you Jean Touitou for letting me create with you.”
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