As the love affair between music and fashion continues to bud, so does this connoisseur combining the two. Since first launching in 2002, Maison Kitsuné has introduced us to some of our favorite musicians, wowed us with cool collaborations, given us coveted closet staples, and cultivated our taste for classic, cool Parisian style. Last year they opened the doors to an NYC flagship location, expanding their US presence, and as you may have noticed the chic-quotient skyrocket in the Flatiron district, you may have pondered the true nature of Maison Kitsuné. Are they a record label? Are they designers? Well, we wondered too, and in between enjoying Maison Kitsuné fashion week parties, we knew we had to find out about their magic formula. Maison Kitsuné founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki gave us the lowdown.
TL: In addition to the clothing and music, Maison Kitsuné encompasses a lifestyle and level of taste. What sums this up for you?
MK: The lifestyle definitely has a Parisian savoir-faire – playful and cool, and yet still timeless.
TL: What was the first endeavor that you got into as a duo that paved the way for creating the label?
MK: We were traveling through Japan with Daft Punk about thirteen years ago, and we were inspired by the way boutiques offer a lifestyle approach that combines many products and industries. This inspired us to create the Maison Kitsuné clothing brand and music label in Paris. Our first ready-to-wear collection launched in Spring/Summer 2005.
TL: What does your annual social calendar look like? What are some events that you are sure to never miss?
Between fashion weeks, our Kitsuné club nights and concerts, our schedule is quite packed!
Last week we hosted an event for New York Fashion Week at The NoMad Hotel, featuring a live performance by Chairlift. We also co-hosted the fashion week closing party with Made Fashion Week and curated the music performances for the night.
We are looking forward to Art Basel in Miami, which is always very inspiring for us.
Otherwise we enjoy bringing people together with music at our Kitsuné club nights, which feature the best new talent around the world.
TL: Can you tell us a little bit about opening the New York Flagship? How did the neighborhood, the architecture, down to the employees at the Maison factor in representing your vision?
MK: Our New York Flagship opened in 2012 at The NoMad Hotel in the Flatiron District. The NoMad was interested in collaborating with a retailer with French flaire, and Maison Kitsuné was a natural fit. The Flatiron district is quickly becoming a destination for fashion, nightlife and hospitality and we are proud to be a part of its growth.
Maison Kitsuné NYC
TL: You’ve done some really iconic collaborations, most recently the Pernod print and limited edition bottle comes to mind. I loved seeing it in one of last years’ favorite music videos as well (Citizens!). Is there any brands/people that you would love to organically fall into collaboration with?
MK: All of our past collaborations have come together very organically, as you mentioned. The brands that we work with have similar ideologies and it has been a great experience to collaborate with them.
In terms of upcoming collaborations, we are thrilled to be a part of Le Cabinet de Curiosités of Thomas Erber, coming to America for the first time at our boutique. This exhibit will bring together over 40 brands worldwide to create special, limited-edition pieces showcasing from December 2nd – 31st.
TL: How do you approach new endeavors, whether it be a new retail location, a new collaboration, or adapting a new trend?
MK: Our approach is always a little different and unique, which in turn has been great in building the brand. We try not to approach most things in the traditional sense, rather we explore other avenues that we find inspiring or interesting. This can be applied to all aspects of our business.
“Show Business” Fall 2013 Capsule Collection Music Fashion Show
TL: Any exciting new music talents that you can’t stop listening to?
MK: Some of our recent favorites are Portland, Years and Years, The Swiss, Chela, Schwarz Dont Crack. We are always on the lookout for new and exciting talent.
TL: What did it mean to be guest designers at Pitti W in January? How did you represent both Maison Kitsuné and the Pitti brand?
MK: It was a great honor to be guest designers at Pitti W. The Pitti brand is all about the union of innovation and attention to detail, as is Maison Kitsuné. As we grow and put new ideas into motion, quality is increasingly important.
TL: Why does Alfred Hitchcock, who inspired your Fall 2013 “Show Business” Capsule Collection, make such a compelling inspiration?
MK: Alfred Hitchcock’s films engage the viewer through subtle details which create a suspense that is quite inspiring. Clothing has the power to evoke just as much emotion as film, through graphic lines, defined silhouettes and bold color, which inspired much of our Fall/Winter 2013 collection.