A.P.C. Raw Denim – Best in Value?


A.P.C. – Atelier de Production et de Création

A.P.C., the all-around fan favorite minimalist French brand, opened yet another new store this year – this time in Brussels, Belgium.  So far it seems like business as usual.  The new shop has been received well by the public and myriad blogs, plans are underway to be stock up with its usual menswear and womens wear, etc. etc.

A.P.C. Brussel, Belgium Store - Opened March 2011

A.P.C. Brussel, Belgium Store – Opened March 2011 (source: HypeBeast)

For our concern though, in such a competitive and difficult space, one could speculate that A.P.C.‘s constant expansion can mean one thing.  It’s merchandise is selling very well, particularly their raw selvedge denim, arguably its most popular product.  In a fairly tough industry, how has A.P.C. managed to sell so well?  Yes, they’ve improved their distribution but product is always paramount.  Could it be that their raw denim is considered “best in value”?

We know.  There are so many raw denim labels out there that are either much cheaper (Unbranded, Levi’s 501 Shrink-To-FitCheap Mondays, etc.) or comparable in price (Naked & Famous, Nudie Jeans). Though there is not necessarily an immense sacrifice in quality, the difference is noticeable.  Plus one must factor in exclusivity.

Nudie Jeans

Nudie Jeans

Cheap Monday

Cheap Monday

In other cases, some denim labels have taken attention-to-detail to a whole new level, ranging from the classic American players (Rising Sun & Co. Jeans, Tellason, Roy, Raleigh) to the Japanese heavyweights  (Iron Heart, Sugarcane, Drybones, Samurai, Momotaro). But again there is a trade off.  Not everyone can get their paws on the only 200 pairs made (i.e. inaccessibility) and/or afford the $300.00+ price tag.

Tellason Denim

Tellason Denim

Sugarcane & Co.

Sugarcane & Co.

Enter A.P.C. – they offer 4 cuts and it’s well known the fades set in quickly (in terms of whiskers, honeycombs, and stacking); quality, fit, and durability is unquestionable (I myself have a pair of 5+ year old A.P.C. New Standard that has been washed 4-6 times that still fit and feel mint), and the price commanded is not unreasonable (~$175.00 though a quick glance at eBay is not bad either).

A.P.C. Fades - 6 Months

A.P.C. Fades – 6 Months In (Casual Appreciation)

They have also managed to maintain an “exclusive” vibe at the same time as being very accessible (because nothing beats being able to see and feel denim up close).  Aside from their online store and nine offline flagship shops, they’re denim and goods are sold across hundreds of retailers in nearly thirty countries.  Not bad at all, Jean.

A.P.C. - New Standard

A.P.C. – New Standard

Has A.P.C. managed to beat out all the competition and find it’s niche with a fluffy offering as “best in value”?  What do you think?  Let us know via your comments below.

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Stay Raw!


Nick Coe

Nick is the Founding Editor of RawrDenim.com.

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  • Bryan

    Good read, but I respectfully disagree. Best in value has gotta be Naked and Famous. Same price or cheaper than APC, better construction, much better fabric selection, and manufactured ethically in North America. What more can you ask for? :)

    • http://twitter.com/RawrDenim Rawr Denim

      @8f85d332ae02a6626ff6618fc8a6e83c:disqus Thanks for the comment and very valid points.  Not sure if I could say the fabric is better given they both source their denim from Japan (likely different districts though).  I much of this boils down to preference. Also, I’m curious to hear more about ethical manufacturing.  A.P.C. isn’t hiding anything, are they?  Thanks again.

      • Bryan

        Thanks for the reply. I should clarify that I didn’t mean to imply that APC manufactures unethically, but rather that I find it impressive that N&F can offer made-in-NA garments priced lower than other labels’ comparable made-in-Asia jeans. Personally, it brings me more peace of mind knowing that the garment I am wearing was produced relatively close to me.

        Regarding the fabric, I was referring to the wider selection available from N&F versus APC’s fairly limited fabric choices (one).

        That said, you’re correct — it does really just boil down to preference, strong arguments can be made either way, and for other brands too, depending on your priorities and tastes.

        Keep up the great work on this site!

        • http://twitter.com/RawrDenim Rawr Denim

          Thanks again @Brian:disqus for explaining a bit more.  Definitely agree with you on N&F’s approach, creativity, and sheer variety.  Who else would’ve thought of Raspberry scratch n’ sniff, glow-in-the-dark, or multi-color weft raw denim?  

          Appreciate your candid thoughts – if any other feedback, pls send it our way!

      • Jimmy

        APC jeans are made of “Chinese” denim except the special collabo they do with Supreme…..

        • trehsu

          APC is made in macau (and now since the article Thailand) but the denim is japanese.

  • Kathryn

    I don’t think you can beat Edwin for value, I’ve got Flatheads, 3Sixteens and APC but just started wearing a pair of Edwin ED-71 Rainbow selvage and I think the quality, fit and attention to detail is reaaly impressive

    • http://twitter.com/RawrDenim Rawr Denim

      @c4cd6489ec31b7f76090c715fdde63a5:disqus Interesting to hear, especially given you also have a pair of Flathead & 3sixteen (both great denim). How long have you worn the Edwins for? How are the fades coming in?

      • Kathrynl

        Fades coming along very nicely! They fade quite quickly especially the wallet fade. Still loving the quality and fit. No washes or soaks yet!

        • trehsu

          I might have to consider the ED-47 as opposed to APC New Standards for my next pair.

  • jon

    I like how simple their design is and from pictures the different type of fits that you can achieve with different sizes is what’s attracting me to APC. I own two pairs of N&F but I want something a little slimmer than their skinny guy cut…mainly need something with a bit more taper.  I just hope APC’s quality is up there. 

  • Flightland123

    It is rather complicated as it really depends what you want from a denim jean. The Spellbound ‘low tension’ fabric is simply amazing. Edwin are great value for money, Momotaro – Japanese line are great but pricey,(European line is okay too). Are you after quality, washing/ fadings, cut/style, exclusivity, etc. You should talk to the guys at ‘Son of a stag, in london, E1 (Brick Lane).
    They have the best choice of jeans that I have ever seen and cut shorten your jeans on the old union special chain stitching machine, whilst you wait – for free.

    • http://www.rawrdenim.com Rawr Denim

      Good points and thanks for the suggestion!

  • Adrian

    Are all APC jeans selvedged and raw?

    • Nathan

      No the New Cure are not! Same quality denim just not redline!

      • Nachos

        now there is a new cure with selvedge

  • RD

    Have you guys ever considered, besides the fact that these jeans are not expensive in comparison to similar brands that attract to similar crowds, this brand is most beloved for the fact there are no ugly stitches on the back pockets nor disturbing labels visible on the denim’s outside? True simplicity & quality for a reasonable price is apparently very difficult to achieve. Together with some swedish labels (which offer significant less quality for more money or for example too little variety in their cuts — i.e. Acne Studios or Our Legacy) A.P.C is the only japanese selvedge / brandless / contemporary cut / sleek looking denim available out there. If i’m mistaken, please correct, I’d love to change brands for once!

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  • Marina Doshkevich

    I hate how APC look on men. Too much that slouchy gangster fit, too low on the hips, and the stiff denim just makes the bagginess worse. Men out there; Wear Levi 501. Sexy on cute guy.