Maison’s Kitsuné’s Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki are a foxy pair. Their music label celebrated its first decade last year, clothes arrived a little later on, and, since then, Kitsuné’s ascent in the wardrobes of stylish, young Parisians has been lightning swift. Kitsuné means “fox” in Japanese, so perhaps it’s not such a surprise after all. The French Loaëc ran his own record shop in Paris when he joined the Daft Punk Crew, and Kuroki was an architect in Jean Nouvel’s office when they met. Mutual tastes in style and music led them to the conclusion that the two mediums could be combined and their elegant, new-school approach to sportswear and tailoring classics reflects a Japanese/French fusion inspired by East Coast ’60s America and Paris’s Left Bank. With a subtle twist on Dad’s country club classics and their fox-logo polos, Kitsuné has become a music lover’s clothing label, which has spread the word without fashion shows while launching sounds from Hot Chip, Two Door Cinema Club, Digitalism, and Simian Mobile Disco to name just a few.
Invited to Florence by Pitti for the first show of its younger-sister womenswear line, Kitsuné turned the hallowed Palazzo Capponi into a sound studio for “Show Business,” a Jools Holland-style television show send-up with performances and modeling from the label’s “hot new sensations”: the Australian/Swedish twin sisters Say Lou Lou, French singer Yelle, London DJ duo Eli & Fur, and Citizens!, whose debut album was produced by Alex Kapranos. Japan’s renowned Verbal and Yoon (Verbal is a cover boy MC with the Teriyaki Boyz, and Yoon is his designer wife), introduced the acts and accessorized the show with their own jewelry collection, Ambush, combined with J.M. Weston loafers and Michel Vivien pumps while French fashion documentary director Loïc Prigent filmed the proceedings.
In the midst of all this heartwarming pop, the clothes played second fiddle, but that’s just about right, after all. Maison Kitsuné has avoided the runway in favor of making down-to-earth desirables. As though inspired by the Say Lou Lou twins, the womens’ pre-collection captures Kitsuné’s vision of a ’50s Alfred Hitchcock heroine for 2013 in high-rise hourglass Capri pants, slinky paisley pant suits, and striped cotton shirts. The Citizens! boys looked “as traditional and classy as marble” in light gray cool wool Kitsuné suits worn with the simplest white shirts.
“We wanted to do something that corresponds to who we are,” said Gildas Loaëc back stage, “something between fashion and music and like a TV show.” The You Tube clip of the Florence show with interviews goes up on Monday.
After this first outing, Loaëc isn’t sure Kitsuné will be a permanent name on the show schedule. “Pitti was the right side door for us. Paris is so big, it’s kind of scary. Maybe we will do something in New York,” he says. In the meantime, Kitsuné’s new shop in New York’s NoMad hotel will be followed by two shops in Tokyo set to open in February.