Today’s POP is Rachel. Bag it up.
When art berlin contemporary approached A.P.C. about designing an exclusive tote to celebrate their partnership with Berlin Art Week this September, founder Jean Touitou couldn’t resist pairing the two acronyms together.
The result? An A.P.C/abc flipside.
With a new A.P.C. store in the works in West Berlin, and Berlin Art Week’s packed schedule from 11-16 September looking promising – we’re booking our flights.
Jean caught up with POP before setting off on his summer holidays to tell us more about what’s happening this Autumn.
What spurred this collaboration between A.P.C. and abc?
Art berlin contemporary approached us to design a tote bag for their event in September. I could tell you I am interested in Art and Berlin (which is part of it) but actually I thought it was quite funny for A.P.C. to collaborate with an organisation called abc!
The A.P.C. totes have become significant in their own right for the brand’s ethos in casual contemporary design. Why did you choose the bags as your means of collaboration with abc?
Everyone loves a tote. But the idea here was to go an extra step and make it a bit more special and less throw-away. We have used archived A.P.C. fabrics for each of the bags. As our fabrics are made exclusively for us, each of those simple totes are very limited in numbers.
What is it about the Fasanenstrasse area of Berlin which attracted you to open the new A.P.C. store there?
Fasanenstrasse is located in the Western part of Berlin and we thought it would be great to have a store in this area, as the current store is located in Mulackstrasse, which is in the more central, East area of Berlin. There are fans of A.P.C. from all walks of life and we have noticed around the world that people like shopping at a "neighbourhood" A.P.C. store. We recently opened a store in the West Village of New York and it has become extremely popular with the locals who actually live in that area. I wanted to do the same for Berlin.
I am also very moved that the store will be next door to the Literaturhaus, a really inspiring place, and in front of a very, very decent Italian restaurant. It felt like home to me.
What can you tell us about the new store – is it similar in concept to your other stores?
The A.P.C. stores all over the world have a similar concept but each is treated quite individually. I work with the architect Laurent Deroo. We are friends and have a lot of trust in each other. He travels to the space, often on his own, without me, and looks at the space and the area and then creates something.
Before meeting Laurent I couldn't really get my head around architecturally designed stores but he got me out of that. For some reason, Berlin (and Milan) evoke for me a type of stone called Travertine. To me it's a very dignified and sexy mineral, so the second Berlin store will use this material.
Which collections and fabrics do the surplus material used to create the bags come from?
The bags are created from surplus A.P.C. fabrics which were designed in-house exclusively for the brand. They feature a wide range of fabrics from all past A.P.C. collections. So the fabrics convey memories and someone might find the fabric of their old A.P.C. shirt or dress in their new A.P.C. + abc tote bag.
There are two different designs for the exclusive totes- can you tell us more about these?
The design of the bags plays on the similarity of the abbreviations of the two names. The bags feature the letters A.P.C., acronym for Atelier de Production et de Creation, on one side and A.B.C., acronym for art berlin contemporary, on the other. There are two different styles, one of them has the letters printed on the fabric, the other one features appliquéd letters. That is supposed to be a play on the idea of art vs. the applied arts.
Berlin Art Week runs from 11-16 September.
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