APC says sorry for racist slur at Paris fashion week

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APC says sorry for racist slur at Paris fashion week

PARIS - Capping the Paris fashion season with a dose of controversy, French menswear company APC apologized for using a racist slur in a show last week - prompting collaborator, shoe giant Timberland, to sever ties.

APC house founder Jean Touitou told The Associated Press on Thursday that he spoke “recklessly’’ by using the N-word in a live narration at the menswear show - reportedly in homage former APC collaborator, rapper Kanye West, who recorded a song entitled “Ni(asterisk)(asterisk)as In Paris’’ with Jay-Z.

While male models posed in camel coats and gray tracksuit pants with Timberland boots last Sunday, French-Tunisian designer Touitou took the microphone and launched into a live narration in French and English in which he used the N-word several times.

In a statement emailed to The AP, Touitou said he “spoke recklessly using terms that were both ignorant and offensive. I apologize and am deeply regretful for my poor choice of words.’’

Touitou reportedly claimed that Kanye West had said he “loved’’ the idea, when contacted prior to the show.His apology has come too late to salvage the collaboration with footwear giant Timberland.

In a statement Wednesday, its president Stewart Whitney called the remarks “offensive,’’ and severed all ties with the brand.

“We have chosen to immediately terminate our involvement with the APC brand, including the footwear collaboration we had planned for this fall ... We will not tolerate offensive language or racial slurs of any kind being associated with the Timberland brand,’’ he said.

APC menswear (Atelier de Production et de Creation) is an influential men’s house that started in 1987, and specializes in casual non-catwalk urban designs. AP

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