Brice Partouche, who used to be the drummer in Elevate Newton’s Theory & Rodeo Massacre, did what big French brands fail to do tonight – throw a party where all the hip kids of Paris feel comfortable in cutting loose. It reflects his brand, April 77, the Parisian purveyor of skinny jeans, black t-shirts, button down cotton shirts and bomber jackets. All the scenesters, who’re outsiders to the fashion week hoopla that happens in their own home city, and prefer watching bands or hearing friends DJ in hidden bars dotted around Paris to sipping cocktails in Silencio, have an item by April 77 in their wardrobes. Hard metal, psychedelia, 90s new rave or hard-to-find punk are amongst the musical genres they’re all digging in 2012 but a new wave is blowing in from Montréal as underground punk DJ, Abraham Toledano, keeps unearthing new bands from trips to the Francophone city and this week-end had members of lo-fi duo Dirty Beaches sleeping on his sofa.

But back to April 77 and the rowdy, tequila soaked Iron Arm Contest that was thrown inside a packed bar near Bastille. The arm wrestling contest was open to guys and girls and rose to a deafening crescendo as competitors were knocked out or made their way into the final. Brice officiated the arm wrestling with competitors knocking back shots as they approached the bench. Drinks tokens were guitar picks printed with, 9 Rue de Charonne 75011 Paris, the address of the new April 77 store.

With girls and guys, who are often only seen by the mainstream walking the runways of Paris, all arm-wrestling or in one case working behind the bar serving drinks, as the tequila took hold it was hard to believe that Hedi Slimane wasn’t hiding somewhere amongst the throng, maybe he’ll claim it in a few seasons time. Brice Partouche is already bang in the center of it.

Photography by Sarah Hay

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