FROM PARIS TO NYC: THE CULT OF MAISON KITSUNÉ
Maison Kitsune is proof that life should be lived well and with a sense of playfulness. For Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, the creative minds behind the part brand, part record label, living well means surrounding yourself with the things you love and never, ever skimping on quality. “We love music. We love fashion. We love coffee. That’s what we do,” Kuroki says. “Why are we doing it? For the customer. Our goal is to please our customers—from Hong Kong to Tokyo to Paris to New York. We are doing our best to offer the highest quality in each field we are exploring.”
Since launching in Paris in 2002, Maison Kitsuné has been spreading its unique, inspirational Art de Vivre to the far corners of the globe through its colorful Paris-meets-Tokyo clothing brand and the music released on its electronic record label. Furthermore, over the past 15 years, the multifaceted brand has curated a brick-and-mortar presence in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, with the latest outpost opening in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in September last year. The downtown store remains sublimely true to the Maison Kitsuné brand. As Kuroki says, “We don’t want to be the hype or the trend. We want to be ourselves.” It is this resolute, no-nonsense attitude and unwavering dedication to the brand’s origins that has seen Maison Kitsuné maintain a steady, cult-like following over the years.
Fashion and music aside, the interior design of the SoHo location is reason enough to carve out time for a visit. To make the space feel like home, Loaëc and Kuroki enlisted celebrated French architect Mathieu Lehanneur. Lehanneur describes the boutique as a story of links: links between France and Japan, fashion and music. “The boutique in New York materializes these connections throughout the space. The floor-to-ceiling iridescent tube weaving throughout the store symbolizes this,” Loaëc says.
On why they chose SoHo as the US flagship location, Loaëc says, “I think the new location in Lafayette came very naturally. We are very excited to be operating in America and to introduce the ‘little world’ we’ve been building, that lifestyle and Art de Vivre, and making it global….It’s very important to get a bigger awareness and following in America. It is like an echo chamber: what is happening in America resonates stronger all over the world in terms of show business and the media.”
Upcoming, the brand will be bringing its Afterwork party series back to NYC this fall with a curation of emerging and established artists and DJs. Expect late-night dancing, colorful characters, and guaranteed good vibes, all in true Maison Kitsuné style.
WORDS Edwina Hagon