Kidult Sprays the N-Word on A.P.C. Storefront in Paris
Kidult waited for the right time to retaliate.
Graffiti artist Kidult has struck again. The street artist with a special knack for defacing Paris’s foremost luxury-brand storefronts sprayed the N-word in bright pink letters on the windows of A.P.C.’s Marais location.
It is the midst of ready-to-wear fashion week in Paris, and the stylish neighborhood is overrun with fashion professionals as well as reporters.
The graffiti is a direct and apparent retort to A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou’s brandishing a sign that read “Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS” when his latest collection premiered in January.
Touitou, who is a middle-aged Frenchman of Tunisian origin, used the self-coined phrase in reference to a section of his collection that combined camel-hair trenches with Timberland boots.
He thought that the coinage was the most adequate way to describe his inspiration, which draws on the 1972 drama Last Tango in Paris and the Watch the Throne single “Ni**as in Paris.”
Touitou told the press at the time: “I call this one look Last Niggas in Paris. Why? Because it’s the sweet spot when the hood—the ’hood—meets Bertolucci’s movie Last Tango in Paris. So that’s Niggas in Paris and Last Niggas in Paris.”
When, after an awkward pause, some hesitant laughs ensued, he added: “Oh, I am glad some people laughed with me. Yes, I mean, it’s nice to play with the strong signifiers. The Timberland here is a very strong ghetto signifier. In the ghetto, it is all the Timberlands, all the big chain. Not at the same time—never; it’s bad taste. So we designed Timberlands with Timberland …”
Unsurprisingly, no-one else found the description appropriate and, following the media backlash Timberland, who A.P.C. collaborated with on a pair of six-inch boots, immediately cut ties with the French label.
Kidult’s response to the creative director’s racial rant was timed to coincide with the next major date on Paris’s fashion calendar following the January presentation.
He spray painted the word “Niggas” across the windows of the A.P.C. store and its gate, and stenciled the definition of the root word “niger” on the side of the building.
On his Instagram, Kidult also posted an image of a stencil that may or may not have been painted nearby that reads “Colored Entrance Only,” using the hashtags #whiteprivilege, #fashionweak, #openyourmind, and #youaretheslave, as Complex reported.
In the past, the graffiti artist has targeted the storefronts of labels such as Céline, Chanel, Martin Margiela, and many more across Paris. However, reporting on his tagging tends to be biased in the artist’s favor, though his actions are certainly punishable by law (see Harsher Prison Sentences Coming for Street Artists?).
Kidult counts among the street artists who, like Banksy, rarely collaborate with big brands and stay true to their strand of pithy cultural criticism (See Jerry Saltz on Why Street Art Throwdown is Complete Crap).
About three years ago, Kidult spray painted the Marc Jacob’s SoHo storefront with his signature gigantic letters, spelling out the word “ART.”
Instead of pressing charges, Jacobs retaliated by releasing a super limited edition $689 cotton tee featuring a photo of his shop’s blemished facade, which read “Art by Art Jacobs.”
Kidult’s menacing Twitter response to this recuperation was, “LET’S PLAY, but we don’t play the same rules!”
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