Fashion and music have always been entwined, but in the case of Parisian brand Maison Kitsuné, the coupling goes more than skin deep. The label, launched by Gildas Loaëac and Masaya Kuroki in 2002, began as a music imprint, helping to form France’s nascent electro scene. The pair’s discerning taste saw them tap up some of dance music’s most exciting artists, from synth-bending weirdos Black Strobe to the neon rave of Klaxons.
Clothing seemed a natural extension of the music, and the duo launched its first line in 2005, then a standalone Paris store in 2008. Where the music has tended towards the brash and eclectic, the clothes trend simpler; well crafted, well designed basics, plus a glut of must-have collabs ranging from shoemaker JM Weston to Peter Jensen.
It’s latest project is a hook-up with Mr Porter, for a travel-themed capsule that ranges from sticker-plastered shirts to its iconic fox motif on versatile knits. To celebrate the launch, we chatted exclusively to Loaëc to get the skinny on the new collection.
FashionBeans: Tell us a little about your Mr Porter capsule collection?
Gildas Loaëc: For our first exclusive collaboration with Mr Porter, we wanted to design a playful capsule collection that invites exploration. This collection – that we simply called Voyage – has been conceived from the idea of being a tourist who is travelling the world and collecting precious kitschy souvenirs from each city.
The collection presents some of Maison Kitsuné’s wardrobe essentials reinterpreted for Mr Porter as well as new exclusive designs: for example, the bicolour leather loafer – part of our first footwear collection – has been created in an exclusive navy and cream colourway; the chambray shirt with a little fox head embroidery is something we never did before.
It also features fun prints as an all over pattern with a mix of colourful stickers from different cities and a classic “I <3 Maison Kitsuné”.
Is there a specific design philosophy you follow when coming up with new pieces?
Good quality, great cuts, great fabrics.
Would you say it is easier or more difficult creating a capsule collection with a limited number of pieces?
The fact that the number of pieces is limited actually helps to make the best choices in terms of designs. The result is comfy, chic, and easy to travel with.
Many brands branch out into other categories – Acne has a magazine, Missoni homeware and so on – are there any areas like this that you would like to try?
Well, we’re already into the music industry with Kitsuné, our super-cool music label. We have actually a great project currently on all music streaming services called “Kitsuné Hot Stream” with two new songs uploaded every week.
Beside this new type of music label, we are also running a more conservative one with great artists like Beau, Parcels, Tkay Maidza and Mothxr signed to the label.
We also inaugurated our first coffee spot in 2013 in Tokyo: we have now four Café Kitsuné in the world, including three in Paris in great locations such as the Jardin du Palais Royal, and one in Tokyo, with a few more coming up too.
You can shop the full Maison Kitsuné x Mr Porter capsule collection at mrporter.com now.