Petit Bateau Gets Kitsuné’d
Best known for its children’s clothes and underwear, Petit Bateau, one of France’s most beloved brands, has decided to embrace its age by growing up a little—but only a little. To mark 120 years—or, as they say in Petit Bateau’s world, 1,440 months—the house has tapped Maison Kitsuné designers Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki as the new artistic directors of its men’s and women’s lines. Evidence of the shift will been seen in the brand’s Fall ’13 range, which will start hitting stores in early July. Although it’s not their first collection for the brand (they did capsules in 2009 and again this spring), the range does mark Loaëc and Masaya’s first effort as artistic directors.
“Petit Bateau is a house everyone loves, but it was a little flat—I mean, they are known for their underwear,” commented Kuroki. “I wanted to bring in new proportions, volume, and color—inject a little coolness.” For instance, he showed a duffle coat with its bottom half lopped off—a style that the powers that be were, at first, hesitant to approve. “It meant taking a risk, but sometimes there’s no ‘why’ or ‘because.’ It’s just a feeling. Fortunately, they decided to trust me.”
In addition to the cropped duffle, Fall’s lineup includes reworked staples and heritage logos, as well as streetwear-inspired “new classics,” such as slim jeans, sailor-striped parkas, fitted corduroys, and preppy sweaters with grosgrain details. And as Kitsuné lovers know, where there is fashion, there is music: The first Kitsuné x Petit Bateau-curated concert is set to stream online in September.