HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER: Maison Kitsuné is the latest brand to land in the red-hot Upper Marais district of Paris, with the opening of its largest store and café so far in the French capital.
The 2,150-square-foot split-level space on Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire features floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, ensuring there is permanent light in the space, which has been decorated with mineral touches reminiscent of the Memphis design movement and the paintings of David Hockney.
“The overall mood is soft. We definitely wanted a slightly Californian vibe,” said Gildas Loaëc, who cofounded the brand in 2002 with Masaya Kuroki.
The store, which sells men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, is the brand’s fourth in Paris, while the café is the third there to date — and the first to offer more than a handful of seats, with room for 35 people. Maison Kitsuné joins brands including Acne, Swildens, A.P.C. and Soeur on the fast-evolving thoroughfare.
Loaëc, the former manager of French electronic band Daft Punk, recalled Maison Kitsuné’s first store, also on two floors, was just 215 square feet. “It was a little more than 10 years ago, and I see it this way: In just 10 years, we have increased the size of our first store tenfold. It’s as simple as that,” he said with a smile.
The store was designed by Paris-based architecture firms Henry & Associés and Nicolas Dorval-Bory Architectes, using an engineered marble — created by British designer Max Lamb for Maison Kitsuné — for the central staircases linking the upper-level store to the lower-level café, which has a separate entrance on Rue Amelot.
“We tried to create several spaces, all with very different qualities,” said Dorval-Bory. The Marmoreal, as it is known, is white dotted with fragments of deep red and green marble and also appears as a pattern on a capsule collection of clothes and accessories available at the store and online from June 1.
The ceiling of the boutique area is divided by a cross formed by two 33-foot-long cream steel beams, from which clothes racks are suspended to enhance the airy feel of the space. Coarchitect Charles-Edmond Henry said the structure was inspired by the work of American minimalist artist John McCracken.
Maison Kitsuné has further openings in the pipeline, with new units scheduled to bow in Hong Kong in early July and Tokyo in the fall.