Before we begin, please put on this tune.
One of my favourite brands out there is French Maison Kitsuné. Don’t know it? It’s okay, I’ll introduce you to this awesome machine.
I call it a machine, as the Maison Kitsuné is a lot of things: A brand, a record label, a fashion house, a magazine, a collaborator. You name it!
The brand was founded in France in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc (French), in charge of music, and Masaya Kuroki (Japanese), an architect turned fashion designer. They have signed renowned artists such as La Roux and Australian Tkay Maidza. They have stores in cities around the world and their resale is even bigger with Kitsuné in shops such as END, INCU and The Standard Store.
Kitsuné is Japanese for fox and the brand uses this connection as their brand mark. The fox is a consistent element; in design, on patterns of clothes and accessories etc. but also in store and throughout all other activities the brand takes on. As a brand mark, the fox creates continuity, but it also helps the business establish a brand experience for the customer. Something I find very compelling and interesting.
Everything Kitsuné does is well considered. When you walk into a Kitsuné store, you meet a beautiful, open-minded and fun environment. Kitsuné produced and mixed music playing from the speakers and clothing displayed in elegant constellations. The staff are always bubbly, young and interesting. You will find other brands represented in the stores too as Kitsuné loves to collaborate. You can even dine at Café Kitsuné if you visit the Pigalle store in Paris.
The brand has attitude and is never boring, although their designs balance that fine line of being timeless in form but with contemporary features and components. The style is a mix of the cool, crazy Japanese and the effortless preppy French. Most fashion pieces are basics such as t-shirts and pullovers, but Kitsuné does take plenty of risk in illustration and with some pieces tapping into the more playful and cultural atmosphere of the two partners’ backgrounds.
The brand awakens my curiosity and I want to be a part of their fresh thinking. It’s a lifestyle, not just another one of the pack. This all comes down to the hybrid approach to business that I preach over and over again in my blog posts here on Truly Deeply.
By mixing fashion and music, you create opportunities for your brand. You can dress artists in your clothes, without it being corny or simple, as seen over and over again in merchandise. You can create an atmosphere around your brand that is not only supported by a look and feel, but also a sound, a taste, a smell etc. You can play your music in store, online, on social media and align the atmosphere with your brand personality. You can sign artists that represent your personality or your audience. And you can expand your audience and reach targets in new areas by tapping into other industries.
Back to the fox, who is described as having different faces and appearances when adapting or responding to new situations. The fox is a trickster that develops quickly and find new ways around obstacles.
In the same way, Kitsuné is magically combining arts and cultural languages. The brand adapts to its physical locations and pulls inspiration from surroundings, collaborators, different industries, tradition and atmosphere. This creates a sense of aura in everything they do and with every activity they take on. It is an experience you feel every time you engage with the brand – and what is more powerful than a great memory, a quick reference to something that once made you feel good?
This doesn’t just go for music and fashion. You can hybridise your brand. The world is yours.
Psst! Go here for inspiration:
Maison Kitsuné Paris at Filles du Calvaire
18, boulevard des Filles du Calvaire
Images courtesy of Maison Kitsuné