How A.P.C. and Brain Dead Cooked Up the Fall’s Waviest Collaboration

How A.P.C. and Brain Dead Cooked Up the Fall’s Waviest Collaboration

From a vocal perspective, at least, Kyle Ng and Jean Touitou are about as opposite as it gets. When I catch Ng by phone in late August, the 33-year-old Brain Dead co-founder is on his way to L.A.’s Universal Studios with his girlfriend for a midweek coaster sesh, and his Bay Area accent sounds particularly upbeat and bouncy. A few days later, Touitou calls me from his quiet home in Paris, and the legendary A.P.C. designer speaks methodically, measured, in a smooth French baritone. The one thing they share unequivocally? A deep and abiding love for one another’s brands.

A couple years back, Ng was showing off Brain Dead’s latest wares to prospective buyers at a showroom in Paris, when in walked three living luminaries: Touitou, streetwear godfather Hiroshi Fujiwara, and Nike’s collaboration mastermind Fraser Cooke. Touitou immediately gravitated to Brain Dead’s racks in the corner of the room.

“It felt almost like a physical and intellectual attraction,” Touitou says now. “Sometimes you’re next to some people and you can tell there could be a fit, without even talking.” The label’s offbeat name and subversive graphics both drew Touitou in, but it was Ng who really caught his attention: “I totally saw myself at age 23, 24, in him. I would do the same kind of humor and the same kind of things. He reminded me big time of what I used to be in the late ‘70s.”

For Ng, getting that show of respect was particularly meaningful. “A.P.C. was just, like, a staple in my life,” he recalls. “[In my teens] I didn’t drive, so I would walk around Melrose, just lurking in that area. I remember the A.P.C. store really vividly: I went in once, and the architecture was so beautiful, they had amazing music playing, they had books. I didn’t really care about fashion, but I loved the idea of this super clean, quality clothing you could wear everyday. It became one of the first brands I was really die-hard about.”


A year after their first meeting in Paris, Touitou came back to the same showroom—this time specifically to talk to Ng. “[Touitou] comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, I was here last year. I would love for you to come to the office,’” Ng remembers. “He basically pitched me this idea of like, ‘Let’s do something together. I feel like it’s really hard with A.P.C. to showcase something really wild or crazy, because people want to censor me. But I really love what you do.’ We hit it off immediately and started developing a concept.”

Source : Yang-Yi Goh Link

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