The latest collaboration of the season has been announced by MrPorter on their capsule collection designed by Maison Kitsunè. Vesque Magazine got a chance to speak with Co-founder and Creative Director of Maison Kitsunè, Gildas Loaëe, to ask him about the collection and the brand strategy behind collaborating with the British digital retail giant.
Vesque Magazine: Tell us a little about this collection.
Glides Loaëe: 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 bicolor leather loafer – part of our first footwear collection to be launched on May 2nd – has been created in an exclusive navy and cream color way; 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”.
VM: Is there a specific design philosophy you follow?
GL: Good quality, great cuts, great fabrics… simply.
VM: Most designers have a particular facet to their clothes identifiable as unique to that brand – what is yours?
GL: The fox, of course! Kitsuné means fox in Japanese.
I think we have more than 30 different types of foxes logo featured in our collections… the most iconic one being the tricolor fox.
VM: What were your influences for this MR PORTER exclusive capsule collection?
GL: Summer, traveling, enjoying life, MR PORTER.
VM: Would you say it is easier or more difficult creating a capsule collection with a limited number of pieces?
GL: It was really fun to do this exclusive Maison Kitsuné capsule collection for MR PORTER. 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.
VM: Many successful fashion brands have other facets to them (ACNE has a magazine, Missoni homeware and so on) – are there other areas you think that you may branch into?
GL: 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 4 Café Kitsuné in the world, including 3 in Paris in great locations as in the Jardin du Palais Royal and 1 in Tokyo…with a few more coming up too.
VM: Why partner with MR PORTER, what can we add to your current retail strategy?
GL: Partner with MR PORTER is certainly essential to highlight the fact that Maison Kitsuné is offering simple, effortless and easy chic clothes of good quality, for every day. We’re particularly very happy about our jeans, outdoor pieces and new shoe lines.
Maison Kitsuné’s brand recognition is also probably more important in Japan so far and this exclusive collaboration with MR PORTER gives us the opporunity to introduce our brand to potential Anglo-Saxon customers and to develop Maison Kitsuné’s brand recognition in anglo-influenced countries.
By Pavan Premaney