Designer Jean Touitou raised hackles with his statements at A.P.C.'s most recent men's collection. When a group of looks accessorized with the A.P.C. x Timberland collaboration boots came down the runway, the designer narrated as follows: "The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain," among other remarks. He also titled the segment "Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS." The designer later defended his comments to Style.com, saying, "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 [an] 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.'"
Today, Timberland's president Stewart Whitney issued a statement that the company will not be going forward with its relationship with A.P.C. ... Here's his statement in full:
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.
We've reached out to A.P.C. for a comment, and will update this when we hear back.