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Timberland cuts ties with A.P.C.

It's all over between the two labels after A.P.C. designer Jean Touitou called Timberland 'ghetto' and made racial comments during his AW15 menswear show

By Andrea Tim | Published: 29 Jan 2015

Timberland cuts APC
Photo: theobversion/Instagram

Timberland has decided to end its association with A.P.C. after the fashion label's founder Jean Touitou made racial remarks about the brand. The bizarre thing about this is that in attempting to give creative insight, Jean instead sounded like he was insulting the brand. And it got worse from there.

While presenting his Timberland footwear collaboration at A.P.C's AW15 menswear show recently, Jean explained his collection – very inappropriately named "Last Ni##@$ in Paris" – as reported by Style.com: "I call this one look Last N****s 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 'N****s in Paris' and Last N****s in Paris."

He didn't stop there.

"The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier," he added. "In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time – never; it's bad taste."

Timberland was not pleased. Its president, Stewart Whitney released a statement to announce that it is ending its relationship with A.P.C. The statement reads as follows:

"Yesterday we became aware of the offensive remarks made by Jean Touitou during his A.P.C. Fall Menswear show in Paris. We have chosen to immediately terminate our involvement with the A.P.C. brand, including the footwear collaboration we had planned for this fall. Simply stated, this kind of language and approach is in complete contrast with our values. 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."

Jean, in defence of his earlier remarks, attributed the inspiration of his collection to a cross-over of Jay-Z and Kanye West's rap song N***as In Paris and the film Last Tango in Paris, but the damage was done.

"I am friends with Kanye 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.'"

Why Kanye would approve of a racial reference like that, we don't know.

Related: Benedict Cumberbatch lands himself in race storm
Related: Kanye West debuts second and final A.P.C. collection


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