Natacha Ramsay-Levi Is A.P.C.’s Latest Interaction

Jean Touitou, the brand’s founder, credits A.P.C.’s collective approach to his own early days in Kenzo Takada’s studio. “It was an open place too, even if you were in the shipping department you could meet photographers. I had a dream to recreate this atmosphere,” he remembers. Judith, Jean’s wife, was the one who brought Natacha back into the fold for this one-off collection. “People see me as a super high-end fashion person, but if you know me, like Judith does,” says Ramsay-Levi, “you also know that I have a very human, grounded background, and that I love basics and how much they can give space to the wearer.”

On the day we meet, in the tail end of Paris Fashion Week, Ramsay-Levi’s outfit aligns with her self-description. She wears a barn jacket with wear-and-tear marks that suggest she acquired it and learned to love it long before fashionized versions started turning up on the Loewe and Prada runways. Her jeans are A.P.C., naturally, a new pair though she still has her first pair that she bought as a teenager and “repaired many times.” Her glossy boots highly recognizable treasures from her Chloé days.

The idea behind the collection, Ramsay-Levi says, was “to design clothes but not make them designed. You can make it as a uniform for yourself—loud enough to hold you but anonymous enough to not eat you.” She started with denim, changing the brand’s familiar proportions or adding a drawstring to a waistband, and moved on to brand icons like the trench, swapping out the buttons for a moto jacket zipper or slicing it at the waist. The biggest interruptions in the interaction, where you can see Ramsay-Levi’s hand most clearly, are the studded and grommeted sandals and belts, t-shirts bearing photo prints of her own torso, like a self-portrait, and a nuts-and-bolts pendant necklace in the shape of a woman’s sign that recalls some of the collectible jewelry she made at Chloé. Jean is pleased with the results. “I’m always frustrated at A.P.C. to do what I’m supposed to do,” he says, “and Natacha comes from a more edgy, conceptual area, so I’m happy to have somebody come in and mess around a little bit.”

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