Jean Touitou is a Tunisian-Jewish born fashion designer based in France. Born in 1951, Touitou moved to Paris in 1960 where he studied at the L’Ecole Alsacienne. He also earned a degree in history at Sorbonne. Touitou’s first foray into fashion was in 1975 with a short stint working at the KENZO warehouse. Shortly after leaving the label, Touitou became involved in the production and design teams as “ghost designer” for a number of brands, including Joseph.
1983 saw Touitou help with the launch of French designer Agnès b.’s first overseas store in New York. The small roles earned Touitou enough money to launch his brand A.P.C. (Atelier de Production et de Création), which officially launched in 1987, and to which he still remains involved in its day-to-day operations. Conceived to oppose the bold, outspoken and brand-obsessed fashion world of the ‘80s, Touitou intended the simplistic minimalism of A.P.C. to serve as a stark contrast to the loud logos of that decade.
Touitou has since built a name for himself, having won the ANDAM Fellowship award in 1992. He is accredited for his approach to creating pieces that focus on both style and comfort with the use of high-quality materials, and which offer simplistic minimalist styles. Touitou has fiercely preserved the philosophy of producing well-made, high quality clothing of discreet design and simple aesthetic that is sold at affordable prices. Inspired by working class attire and nouvelle vague films, and he credits his experiences as an immigrant and a revolutionary militant as influences to his approach to fashion. Touitou has also cited that his knowledge comes from his grandfather, who was a tanner, and his father, who was a leatherworker. He is also a well-read book enthusiast who learned much of his fashion education from reading, alongside history, politics and philosophy.
The understated elegance embodied by Touitou’s collections have led him to numerous collaborations, notably a collaborative collection with Vanessa Seward, a footwear collaboration with the Nike Free OG -- a silhouette which fit in the niche category between luxury and streetwear -- and an A.P.C. and Kanye West subsidiary line, among other projects with the likes of Diemme and MM.