The newest campaign by A.P.C. Creative Director Jean Touitou, with art direction and styling by Suzanne Koller and photography by Julie Grève, explores aspirations of youth and the nascent development of personas that we present to the world at large.
The images are lensed in a straightforward style of portraiture reminiscent of traditional paintings of aristocracy, as well as early photographs in which subjects had to sit perfectly still to avoid blurring from long light exposures. These early photographs were characterized by somber faces, because it was hard to hold a smile motionless for extended periods of time. This campaign modernizes the portraiture by capturing fleeting moments, with slight variations of expression through eyes and tilting of heads that draws in the viewer, inviting speculation and engagement.
The challenge for this campaign was to only take portraits, photos that concentrate on the face and bust, in order to convey the models’ personality as closely as possible. You’ll see less fashion and more humanity. The discovery of worry and satisfaction in the eyes of the people who posed as models demonstrates the ambivalence of youth, but also a reflection of our era.
— Jean Touitou
Backdrops of flowery wallpapers suggest the notion that these humans are in the bloom of their youth, with fertile minds poised to flourish and thrive. Their names are listed along with their areas of focus: Samia Hammani (a law student), Jullien Masselo (a model), Marilou Gilles (an arts & humanities student), Dany Wu (a management student), plus Ande Meijer and Eliot Coutant (both high school students).
This is an outing, a coming out. I just want to say that, for years and decades, our images have been innovative, inspiring, constantly renewed and adventurous. Yes, adventurous in that they are often taken by young, not yet known, photographers and feature human beings who are full of poetry and questioning: Revolt or Revolution. What self-image should I express with my self-invented allure? What aesthetic will protect me from the aggressions of the world? What is my style ? Do I have the right to create a style? I want to be noticed, as well as ignored.
— Jean Touitou
A.P.C. Creative Director | Jean Touitou Art Direction/Stylist | Suzanne Koller Photographer | Julie Grève Talent | Samia Hammani, Jullien Masselo, Marilou Gilles, Dany Wu, Ande Meijer, & Eliot Coutant Location | Paris