The darker side of Paris in the designer's debut eponymous collection
A.P.C. designer Louis Wong debuts his own collection within the French brand for A/W12, launching with a focused 70s/80s leather jacket story about the darker side of Paris. A prolific playlist maker who is as passionate about music as he is style, Wong spoke to his friend (and fellow Parisian) Mélanie Crété, Dazed's digital marketing and social media manager, about the project, sharing exclusive stills from his upcoming short film 'Odyssey' directed by Adrien Cothier and Louis Levy, based on the movie 'Contempt'.
Dazed Digital: Can you tell us how this project came about?
Louis Wong: I've been designing A.P.C. with Jean and Judith Touitou for a while now. It's an intense work combining a creative take on the purity and raw spirit of the brand and appealing to new customers. Jean, I think, had enough trust in me to give me a chance to do something different. I suggested to create a capsule collection under my name with a very specific and new concept that wouldn't encroach on A.P.C. territory and he agreed to it. To focus on one item and create the visual world that works with it is really rewarding. It's simple (I don't exceed 8 pieces) but then it asks a lot of thinking to make it pure and powerful. I'm really thankful for having this project. It's like a side hobby.
DD: This first collection channels the 70s cop-hero style. How did you get your inspiration?
Louis Wong: I always loved 70s and 80s French actors, like Patrick Dewaere, Gerard Depardieu or Gerard Lanvin. They were very charismatic at the time and often played cops or baddies in a darker and filthier Paris than the one we know. As they often wear leather jackets, I thought it was a good way to introduce the brand through those icons. They wear leather like a sexy and rough vision of masculinity at the time. Nowhere near the actual state of leather imagery which is mostly tacky and new money. I always thought that if I could do my own collection, it would be about the young Gerard Depardieu in tight denims and raw black leather.
DD: What about your models? Is it true that the door girl at the Montana in Paris recently asked you for their email addresses?
Louis Wong: Haha. I may be more private in the future with things like that... It's just every time I show the picture of the model I chose, Igor Stepanov, who lives in UK by the way, people go wild. I saw a small picture of him in a fashion magazine and asked my friend Bruno Staub about him, he told me that he already shot him. That's how we ended up taking him. I liked him because he's good looking but with a rough thing. A bit like Vincent Cassel in 'La Haine'. Also he looks like a bad kid but he's very sweet. Adorable eyes. I guess there is something about him that is weirdly sexual. It's quite rare to find a male model with strong sex appeal. Since I met him, I have to agree that he has that kind of appeal. But I don't know what happened at the club in the end. I remember that it was 2 or 3am, I was wearing the t-shirt that has his face on it and she emailed him straight away! I know he's very happy there is a t-shirt with his face on, there are millions of pictures of it on Instagram.
DD: You're a big fan of Cher's Twitter. Do you have any other favourites on the Twittersphere?
Louis Wong: M Pokora, who's a teen icon in France, a cute blond r'n'b singer who mostly talks about gym and football but sometimes Madonna. Bret Easton Ellis is very entertaining too, so into himself. And Quentin Delafon, a great recording artist with who always has good words on something.
Directors of 'Odyssey' Adrien Cothier and Louis Levy
Director of 'Odyssey' cinematography Dean Marcial
Louis W. A/W12 collection photography Bruno Staub