How do you give active material for the music world fashion prospect? If anyone can figure it out, it’s Masaya Kuroki and Gildas LoaÃ«c, co-founders of Maison KitsunÃ©. The Parisian pair was on a tour in Japan with Daft Punk in 2002 €”Kuroki was there as a friend of the band, LoaÃ«c was the band’s manager €”when they decided to make their own music design and fashion house. More than a ten years later, Maison KitsunÃ© has grown into a genuine lifestyle brand with boutiques, cafÃ©s, and club nights in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York City, and beyond.
“The whole idea is it has to be fun,” says Kuroki when we saw each other one morning in Tokyo. “The process of working for me and Gildas €”when you feel something, you put it down on the paper. Usually there’s a studio and this visual timeline, but thanks to Wi-Fi and iPhone, you can be everywhere anytime. That’s how we created this collection.” He’s thinking on Reebok x Maison KitsunÃ©, a baseball-inspired creation made up of eight androgynous pieces, like a raglan shirt and a letterman jacket, that a certain type of couple might share. “When I was designing, I was thinking about a unisex team.”
Kuroki is one of those naturally chic people who makes everything he does posh €”even being excluded. “When I was a kid I used to play baseball, but I was not that good, so I was always on the bench watching my friends,” he says, dressed in a Reebok x Maison KitsunÃ© letterman jacket and a flat-brim hat. “There’s the humor of having the baseball on the cap and not a huge ‘R.'” Ditto a white T-shirt pointed up with baseballs and Maison KitsunÃ©’s fox mascot. From Tokyo to Paris, the same fox appears on temporary tattoos and stickers on any given KitsunÃ© club night. At a recent party in Osaka, club-goers put foxes where you could see them €”proof of a great time. €‹ €‹ €‹ €‹ €‹ €‹
For Reebok, joining sportswear and music isn’t new. In 2003 €”before Adidas released Kanye’s Yeezy Boost €”the German brand enlisted Jay Z to create the S.Carter sneaker. The 10,000-item stock sold out in a few hours, making it the fastest seller in Reebok history. In 2011, Reebok hired rapper-slash-producer Swizz Beats as creative director. And this year alone, Reebok hired Kendrick Lamar to put his magic on the Classic sneaker and brought on Tyga and French Montana as brand ambassadors.
In a time when alliance like these weren’t the rule, rappers name-dropped Reebok without being paid. “Knew she was a thug cause when I met her she had a scarf on 5411, size 7 in girls,” says DMX in “How’s It Goin’ Down,” off his 1998 album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. €‹ €‹I know this because a tatted-up teen told me when he saw my recently captured Reebok Freestyles.It seems the hi-top aerobic shoe once retailed for $54.11. €‹ €‹\
Back in New York City, pieces that point at the blooming collection act as a sort of litmus test for cool kids. I subject myself to an shopping action at the Gucci store on Fifth Avenue. Wearingt too-tight skirt and Reebok Classics with a KitsunÃ© hat that quotes “Parisian” €”which I’m not €”I prepare myself for a Julia Roberts-on-Rodeo-Drive-in-Pretty-Woman moment, but I’m in for a surprise. “You’re wearing