News March 16, 2015   |  by

The Nike x A.P.C. Partnership May Be Over, Here’s Why

You might want to hang on to your Nike x A.P.C. sneakers from last year; there’s a likelihood that the two brands might not collaborate this season. Here’s our hunch.

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A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou holding up the controversial sign which led Timberland to terminate its partnership with the brand (Image via Yahoo!)

French label A.P.C. has had a rough time in recent months, having had its upcoming collaboration with Timberland shelved and one of its storefronts vandalized. It also seems increasingly likely that the regular Nike x A.P.C. collaborations we’ve come to know may be the last of its kind, seeing as to how there’s been absolutely no news about any upcoming releases from the partnership.

It all started when founder of A.P.C., Jean Touitou, used the N-word at a fashion presentation in Paris. Specifically, Touitou held up a sign that bore the phrase “Last Ni***s in Paris” to promote his Fall/Winter collection. That didn’t sit well with Timberland, which promptly cut ties with A.P.C. and cancelled an upcoming footwear collaboration.

Following the incident, Touitou tried to justify his actions in an interview with Style.com: “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’,” Touitou said.

Touitou has since issued a public apology on behalf of his brand, but the damage might have already been done. If the bad publicity generated through his choice of words wasn’t enough, Touitou’s revelation of his close association with West, may likely cause a bigger rift with with Nike. After all, West himself has stopped collaborating with Nike, opting to ally himself with adidas, releasing the Yeezy Boost and a fashion collection just last month.

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Street artist KIDULT vandalized the A.P.C. storefront to remind passersby of Touito’s blunder (Image via Animal)

Just as the dust seemed to settle and the world had moved on from Touitou’s blunder, street artist KIDULT took to the A.P.C. store in Paris and spray painted the word “Ni**as” over the storefront along with a definition of the derogatory term.

Touitou’s choice of words may have caused long-term damage to his brand’s reputation. It led to the termination of a collab with Timberland, and our hunch is that Nike is unlikely to partner the French label anytime soon, at least for now. Will Touitou’s boo-boo affect his partnership with major players in the market? We’ll find out in due time.