Shopping at Kitsuné in Paris: Two Labels Under One Roof
"If the record label breeds a vision of cool club kids, then Kitsuné's fashion label definitely leans more on Vampire Weekend's vision of prep."
For years Kitsuné has been blasting from the earbuds, laptops and speakers of electro lovers worldwide. Operating as a ultra hip record label, Kitsuné has consistently pumped out sought after electronic and new wave tunes from its own stable of artists and via celebrated compilations released in distinctive hand-illustrated sleeves. On the other side of the business is Maison Kitsuné, its ultra Parisian fashion label that design new clothing geared to the affluent 20somethings of the French capital.
So it makes sense that a label with two endeavors has two shops, situated side by side on Rue de Richelieu in Paris. One caters to the upper crust offerings of the fashion label, with classic pieces, fine fabrics and higher price tags. The label's wide musical selection is housed next door in the sister shop Kitsuné Parisien, available to listen to alongside a range of more basic graphic T-shirts that makeup the brand's streetwear offerings.
Displayed inside Maison Kitsuné on a number of racks around the shop, the brand's SS12 men's and women's collections hang divided by gender. A new rack to the right of the doorway entrance displays select pieces from the line's upcoming distinctive AW12 men's collection. There's a wide array of knitwear in both bold and neutral colors and classic button ups adorned with Kitsuné's curious fox logo á la France's highly sporty Lacoste label. Slim cut corduroy trousers, plaids in different motifs and streamlined blazers complete the cold-weather collection. On offer for the ladies is a selection of shorts, dresses, tops and a myriad of blazers in various quality fabrics and touchable textures including intricately printed silk, finely striped seersucker and linen.
If the record label breeds a vision of cool club kids, then Kitsuné's fashion label definitely leans more on Vampire Weekend's vision of prep. Think clean, quality cuts in classic styles. French patriotism is alive and on exhibit in the clothing's color scheme, the shop's decor (right down to a blue, red and white cushioned chair) and signage.
Just across the alley way is the sister store in which music and clothing combine for a more balanced offering that marries the two aesthetics and dynamics of Kitsuné. It's here where customers come in, noting enthusiastically to the suave salesmen about how they've been in love with the music of Kitsuné for years and that it was the record label that initially drew them into the store. It seems to be like a mecca location for fans like that, even though the focus of both stores lies more heavily on clothing than the audio aspect. However, its here that music plays on. There's an iPad listening station and drawers full of CDs with songs from artists like Yelle, Is Tropical, Two Door Cinema Club, Klaxons, Au Revoir Simone and more. On top of the shelving are "Parisien" themed baseball caps created in collaboration with trendy hat kingpin New Era, seasonal scented candles (also available next door) and a plethora of crewneck T-shirt that bare written and drawn logos and some even bare the illustration skills of Le Baron owner/graffiti artist André Sariva.
Kitsuné's Paris location mixes the best in music and lifestyle. Although there is a duality to the label with its price and design existing into two distinct ways, everyone can appreciate Kitsuné's brand of hip luxury.
Images by Nilina Mason-Campbell