Paris-based retailer and contemporary label Maison Kitsuné, known for their well-curated stores and minimalist-pop aesthetic, is making a characteristically chic French foray into footwear. Launching this summer from company co-founders and creative directors Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, the collection includes styles for both men and women.
Handmade from Italian leather and produced in Portugal, the line features four unfussy styles: one unisex penny loafer, one men’s lace-up boot, one women’s ankle boot and one Mary Jane pump.
With an emphasis on lasting, trend-proof styles, each silhouette will be updated in new colors each season. The first drop will be available in stores and online starting May 2nd, with prices ranging from $450 to $650. The accompanying playful campaign was shot by Chinese photographer Ren Hang.
We caught up with Loaëc to hear more about what’s in store for Maison Kitsuné’s shoes:
What was the starting point for this footwear collection?
“In a way it was a natural step in Maison Kitsuné’s development. We have always offered ready-to-wear essentials that were masculine yet feminine and effortless; the launch of a footwear collection is simply an extension of that idea.”
How did you decide on the four styles and various colors?
“The four signature styles are all classic silhouettes and suited for any occasion. Their clean, refined lines make them versatile for casual daywear as well as dressier evenings out. Though they will be available year-round, they are limited to each season’s color ways; for example this season, the spring/summer collection is inspired by the “Paris Desert,” a canvas of indigo, light chambray, and stone, which we see here in the inaugural shoe line.”
Who do you see wearing these shoes?
“The Maison Kitsuné client, both male and female, who is authentic, chic and street; he/she is curious, open-minded and forward-thinking, evolving with his/her time.”
What did the process of creating a collection teach you about footwear?
“Maison Kitsuné has had its own canvas sneakers and previously collaborated with French master shoemaker J.M. Weston as well as sportswear brands New Balance and Reebok; it has been and still is a learning process. Manufacturing leather footwear is in many respects an art form for its craftsmanship and rich history.”
What were you hoping to evoke with the campaign imagery?
“Ren Hang is an on-the-rise Chinese photographer who shot our most recent campaign: the Reishiki Capsule Collection, paying homage to Maison Kitsuné’s Japanese heritage with clean, minimalist designs inspired by the traditional garb worn by judokas, practitioners of the martial art of judo. We wanted to collaborate with him again as we love his work, which is truly captivating.”