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July 29 2014

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10 posts tagged "Masaya Kuroki"

Maison Kitsuné’s Retro Pop Experience

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Maison Kitsuné is a record label as much as it is a fashion brand. So when Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki brought their show to Pitti, they literally brought the show. They’d never presented their fashion collections live before, but they had plenty of experience putting bands onstage. So at the Palazzo Capponi last night, they just did what they knew best: They put bands onstage. This time, though, they happened to be wearing Maison Kitsuné.

The thing took the form of a classic TV variety hour, Ed Sullivan-style, with shticky emcees (the Tokyo-based duo Verbal and Yoon—left) and musical acts (the Swedish girl group Say Lou Lou, the French electro-pop chanteuse Yelle, the Franz Ferdinand-esque Brit rockers Citizens!). The whole was filmed by fashion’s documentarian of choice, Loïc Prigent. “I grew up watching TV,” Kuroki said backstage after the show. “I didn’t grow up watching YouTube. We wanted to make it a bit slower. You can feel the moment.” (Whatever he did or didn’t grow up with, the Prigent video is soon destined for an online outlet near you.)

In keeping with the midcentury vibe of the format, the clothes, too, had a sixties spin. The girl-groupers wore silvery minidresses and Peter Pan-collared shirts. (A punky touch was added by Verbal and Yoon’s jewelry line, Ambush.) The guys had patch-pocket suits and penny loafers. And Yelle? Well, her shortalls romper and sparrow-tailed twill parka didn’t seem to fit the theme, but no use standing on ceremony about that. This was less a step onto the fashion runway than one toward Kitsuné’s continuing global expansion (next up, their first Tokyo store, opening in February), and one in pursuit of a good time. “It was good fun,” Kuroki said. “It was a pop experience.”

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Maison Kitsuné’s Fall ’13 presentation.

Kenzo, Kitsuné To Bring A Bit Of France To Florence

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Last season’s Pitti Uomo guest, Carven, brought with it a strong Gallic flavor to the Italian menswear fair, in the form of an old French tradition: the waiters’ race. Evidently the mood is lingering. The fair has tapped two French brands, Kenzo (designed by the American duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim) and Maison Kitsuné (by the Frenchman Gildas Loaëc and his Japanese partner, Masaya Kuroki, above) to present their collection at the fair’s 83rd iteration in January. Kenzo will show menswear, Maison Kitsuné womenswear. The fair runs from January 8 to 11, 2013.

Photo: Ami Sioux/Courtesy of Pitti

Maison In Manhattan

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Maison Kitsuné—formerly a well-guarded secret among Parisians and Tokyo dwellers—has officially arrived in Manhattan. The Paris-based brand, designed by former Daft Punk manager Gildas Loaec and Japanese architect Masaya Kuroki, opened its first flagship in the U.S. last night, a corner space in the new NoMad Hotel, located, as its mash-up name suggests, just north of Madison Square Park. The 1,200-square-foot store stocks the full men’s, women’s, and accessories collections by the brand, and plays up the touches of haute bourgeois culture that still hang on the young-skewing, street-friendly label: the overflowing vase of flowers on a table of shoes, the salon furniture in the dressing room. One brand rep even noted that one of the jackets in the Spring collection now on racks is made in the same factory that produces the iconic ones for Chanel. But at Chanel you won’t find the band for the evening lazily sprawled on the quilted couch, nor, despite Karl Lagerfeld’s renowned love of music, see LPs and CDs from the house’s own record label lining its shelves. Mixing haute and hip with a shrug is the Kitsuné way. The prices tend toward the former, but reports have it that on its first day, the boutique sold thousands of dollars in merchandise. As for Loaec, he seemed keener to take in the scene than to talk business. “It’s like a fishbowl,” he said of the store space, with its huge windows facing out on three sides. It made for a sharp contrast between the chic environs within and the still-developing neighborhood outside—a mix that fit.

Maison Kitsuné is now open at 1170 Broadway, NYC.

Photo: Kyle Ericksen / WWD

A Maison Comes To NoMad

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Gildas Loaec and Masaya Kuroki’s Maison Kitsuné is the ultimate side-project-that-could. The friends and partners launched their label in 2002 in the midst of other commitments: Loaec had been traveling the world managing Daft Punk; Kuroki is an architect. But the understated label—named for the Japanese word for fox, also the brand’s logo—took off, especially in Japan, and has been growing since. Until recently, it was more of a phenomenon abroad and an open secret among world travelers and music fans (Kitsuné also runs a successful record label). The arrival of the company’s unfussy, school-days separates at Barneys, Opening Ceremony, and Bergdorf Goodman brought the duo a new legion of fans, however, who should be very pleased to learn that a New York store is in the offing, designed, naturally, by Kuroki. The shop launches this month at the new, Jacques Garcia-designed NoMad Hotel in New York’s increasingly hot neighborhood north of Madison Square. (Competitor The Ace and its lobbyful of cool retailers is mere blocks away.) In between jaunts to Jamaica and perhaps a trip to Coachella, where a few of his bands are performing, Loaec will be in New York in a few weeks to christen the new store, and he is bringing along a Kitsuné America compliation album for the occasion. On a stop in New York last week, he shared a preview of the Fall collections; here’s your exclusive first look.

Photo: Courtesy of Maison Kitsuné

All-American, Par Avion

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It arrives smack-dab in the middle of New York fashion week, but the latest project from Kitsuné is tout Français. The line is debuting Kitsuné Parisien, a collection that channels collegiate prepster staples, but reflects the City of Light’s unfussy chic—and is made, by the way, using only French manufacturers. That makes for pieces with more history than first look would suggest. Take a cleanly cut polo embroidered with the brand’s fox logo in the colors of the French Tricolore (above). “It’s a classic, sporty French look,” says creative director Masaya Kuroki. “We got a really amazing manufacturer for the polo. They invented maille piqué cotton!”

Americans will have a chance to inspect the wares when the line comes to Barneys New York for a three-week pop-up shop beginning tomorrow. The limited-edition polo will be on offer, as will the fall “Ivy League” collection. But despite the line’s Parisian leanings, Kuroki and co. are celebrating in a true-blue U.S.A. way. For Fashion’s Night Out, they’ve hired the Heartschallenger ice cream truck to roll around town, dispensing sweets and fashion. “An ice cream truck is fun but exotic for us French people,” Kuroki laughs.

Boutique Kitsuné Parisien runs from Sept. 10 to Oct. 1, at Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue, NYC, www.barneys.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Kitsune