Maison Kitsuné, Café Kitsuné settles in Vancouver

Kitsuné CEO for the Americas, Vinod Kasturi, explains why Vancouver was the perfect fit for the brand’s first Canadian outpost.

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A little piece of Paris has arrived in Vancouver in the form of a combined retail and café space in Gastown.

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Fashion brand Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné, its coffee-serving sibling, have set up shop at 157-159 Water St. The locations, which have been smoothly opening to customers with limited hours since late December 2021, offer chic unisex clothing and steaming cups of coffee – with a stylish place to enjoy both.

Designed by brand co-founder Masaya Kuroki, the sleek spaces feature oak wood paneling on the walls with an unfinished concrete floor. The overall design effect is said to be inspired by “Vancouver’s lakeside residences, reflecting connectivity, warmth and modernity, with local natural materials”.

The cafe will feature a menu created by Vancouver chef Lina Caschetto, with pairings from Wine & Sake Director Layla Frances-Smith. Café Kitsuné Objects, including tableware, ready-to-wear and accessories specific to the operation of the café are also on offer. The shop and cafe are also set to offer a small sampling of Vancouver-specific pieces, including a t-shirt and tote bag.

Exclusive designs from Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné Vancouver include t-shirts and tote bags.
Exclusive designs from Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné Vancouver include t-shirts and tote bags. Photo House Kitsuné

Launched in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc and Kuroki, the “Paris-meets-Tokyo brand” began as a music label – Kitsuné Musique still exists – and has since grown to include the fashion brand and cafes.

We caught up with Vinod Kasturi, CEO of Kitsuné for the Americas, to find out more:

Q: How would you describe Maison Kitsuné for those who don’t know it?

A: Maison Kitsuné is an independent fashion brand since 2002 that relies on its daily know-how with a workshop and a studio based in Paris. Brand Creative Director Marcus Clayton develops our seasonal collections inspired by Japanese street style and elevated French attitude.

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Q: How was Vancouver chosen as the location for the cafe and boutique?

A: Vancouver is a beautiful, creative city in Canada, and as a brand, we have a long history of interacting with Vancouverites through programming Kitsuné Musique events and partnering with independent boutiques to showcase our latest collections of Maison Kitsuné fashion, which showed us that there was cool to follow there. Vancouver’s prosperity is also linked to its close ties with China, where we have invested in brand growth, with recent openings in Shanghai and Beijing. We chose Gastown specifically because it is one of Vancouver’s most vibrant neighborhoods, as a true epicenter of design, culture, food and fashion, alongside heritage Victorian architecture. Gastown also has a very strong cafe scene, which we thought we could bring the Café Kitsuné perspective to.

Q: What made it the right time to open here?

A: New Vancouver locations mark our fourth North American boutique and second café, adding to US outposts, which include our New York Flagship in Soho, Archives and Café Kitsuné in the West Village, as well as the Los Angeles Flagship at Silver Lake. Overall, Kitsuné is calculated organic growth. After establishing a foundation in the United States, this was the natural next step to entering Canada, but it was a multi-year process of evaluating neighborhoods and sites to find the right location and the right partner, that felt iconic, in and out of town. , and uniquely adaptable to reflect the brand’s DNA.

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Q: What can people expect to find in store?

A: An immersive experience of Kitsuné Art-de-vivre through personalized sound design curated by Kitsuné Musique, our Paris-meet-Tokyo Maison Kitsuné collections and our sense of hospitality can be found at Café Kitsuné.

Exclusive designs from Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné Vancouver include t-shirts and tote bags.
Exclusive designs from Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné Vancouver include t-shirts and tote bags. Photo House Kitsuné

Q: And what has been the reaction to the shop and cafe so far?

A: So far there has been nothing but positive energy and enthusiasm, which we are very grateful for. We continue to roll out broader menu offerings in the cafe, particularly on the aperitif and natural wine front, as we are still limited on indoor dining capacity and paying attention to the latest COVID guidelines. from the city. But we are excited to activate the space in the coming months as the situation improves and we are able to meet in person with the community. The Vancouver location will continue Kitsuné’s tradition of experiential programming with monthly DJ performances during our “Super-Sake” coffee series, which is ready to launch as soon as it’s safe.

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