“People would ask us: ‘Are you trying to do the French Ivy League or something?’” said Masaya Kuroki, half of Maison Kitsuné, the Parisian fashion and electronic music record label, which opened its third New York store in August at 248 Lafayette Street in SoHo. (The first two have closed.)
Founded in 2002 by Mr. Kuroki and Gildas Loaëc, the brand is known for its well-made oxford shirts, tennis sweaters and polos, all adorned with a tricolor fox logo. For this season, the collection has been supplemented with the American stars and stripes, in a nod to the brand’s global reach. Maison Kitsuné has nine other boutiques in Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
“New York is always on the go,” Mr. Kuroki said. “We don’t want to be the hype or the trend. We want to be ourselves. Maybe that’s naïve.”
I like that the store feels like a store. There’s a trend of making boutiques into something else — calling a store a gallery, for instance. Why did you stay away from that?
We love music. We love fashion. We love coffee. That’s what we do. Why are we doing it? For the customer. Sometimes when you are pure, 100 percent creator, artist, you can go too far. And then the people don’t get it. Our goal is to please our customers, from Hong Kong to Tokyo to Paris to New York.
Why the fox?
There’s already a crocodile. There’s already a famous horse. Why not the fox? For this collection, we did a play on the fox with an American flag. Maybe one day we’ll have a Mexican, Italian, Chinese flag. It’s a Parisian brand, but at the end of the day it’s multicolored.