Maison Kitsune Brand Guide
Maison Kitsune Brand
The worlds of music and fashion have always walked hand-in-hand; for youth subcultures from mods to punks to hip-hop heads, the clothes they wore were of equal importance to the music they listened to. Specific brands and items have even been intrinsically linked with certain musical styles or groups, like skinheads with Dr Martens and Fred Perry, or the Wu-Tang Clan with Clarks Wallabees. But it’s not usual to find a brand that has a direct link to the music industry through its own record label — meet the Maison Kitsune brand.
Founded as a record label in 2002 by the Franco-Japanese duo of Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, Kitsuné branched out into clothing early into its life, delivering its first ready-to-wear collection in 2005 and introducing its very endearing fox logo embroidery. The collision of music and fashion has always been central to the brand’s ethos since its inception. Loaëc had moved from Brittany to Paris to open up a record store, where he got to know regular customers Daft Punk – the world-famous electronic music duo, known as musical tastemakers and eccentric dressers – and eventually became the group’s art director and manager. Kuroki, meanwhile, was more from the design side of the spectrum, moving from Tokyo to Paris at age 12 and graduating as an architect in 1999.
Loaëc and Kuroki knew one another as acquaintances through Loaëc’s record store, but didn’t really become close friends until Loaëc needed a guide for Tokyo during a Japanese trip to oversee the production of Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555, an animé companion piece to their Discovery album. Kuroki came to mind immediately, and during the trip the two bonded over their shared loves of music and fashion, and the concept for Kitsuné – something that would combine music, image and clothing – was born.
Alongside the first ready-to-wear collection, Kitsuné released the first in a series of highly popular and influential compilation albums, showcasing the likes of Hot Chip, Digitalism and the Klaxons long before their mainstream success. Having grown organically since then — and remaining an independent company — the Maison Kitsune label has not only opened 16 boutiques across the world, including Paris, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Honolulu, but also their own Café Kitsuné in Paris and Tokyo, along with plans for a Kitsuné Hotel in Bali, Indonesia cementing the brand’s image as a fully-fledged lifestyle destination.
Kuroki designs the clothing collection, using his architectural background and Japanese influences to create designs that channel classic Parisien chic with a modern approach to preppy style that exudes an air of ineffable cool. Each of the brand’s basic pieces is made in Portugal by small factories that are selected for their artisanal techniques, ensuring that Maison Kitsuné t-shirts and sweatshirts are some of the best you can buy. The brand have also recently expanded their selection to more ready-made cut-and-sew pieces like shirts, trousers and suiting, alongside footwear in collaboration with specialist companies like Pierre Hardy and Brandblack.
Having come this far through their own merits, with a finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist and an eye for details, The Maison Kitsune brand is sure to continue to grow from strength to strength. Shop the first drop from Spring/Summer ’19 today at Aphrodite, and look out for more Maison Kitsuné as the year goes on.