What sustains or inspires you in your work?
I let pleasure be my guide... not only my personal delight in creative work, but also the pleasure, as a creator, that I wish others to feel. I try to imagine what would resonate with them personally and elicit new emotions. I'm very lucky to be able to spend my days immersed in the creative process—it’s a constant source of personal enrichment.
Which individuals or projects do you particularly admire?
In terms of music, I'd have to say Daft Punk and the Factory Records label, which represents legendary bands such as Joy Division and New Order. As for fashion, Comme des Garçons comes to mind for many reasons. I have tremendous respect for the brand, which has found success without making an initial marketing investment. Thanks to its product agility, it reaches customers between the ages of 2 and 90, taking a trans-generational approach that strikes a universal chord.
What kind of compliment about your work do you appreciate the most?
I find it moving when people tell me that I'm just as engaged now as when we first started out 15 years ago, that our work is still driven by the same passion.
Is there a city that inspires you or that reflects your personality?
Masaya and I find inspiration in the places we love most. One is the gardens of the Palais Royal, where we set up Café Kitsuné. Another is Japan, which is always a source of inspiration. We love New York—we’ve opened a shop there. Last but not least, there is Bali, where we have plans for a hotel. In other words, we mix business with pleasure!
What is your idea of the perfect lifestyle?
The most important thing is not to take oneself too seriously and to enjoy life. Creativity can't thrive if one feels obliged to produce something. It takes a while to get to grips with this philosophy— you need to work on it every day. If one is free from any obligation, the creative spark comes naturally, which is vital in our line of work.
What are your music and fashion preferences?
One is house music. It was already part of my mix twenty years ago, and it's now making a strong comeback. There is a whole culture around it that I would like to explore during Fashion Week. As for fashion, the choice of material—which is crucial for the elegance of a silhouette—the quest for modernity, and the use of denim in association with cashmere are all important factors for me. Combining different materials—always a rich terrain for exploration—is an area in which Japanese designers such as Sacai excel.
What particular themes underlie your work in music and fashion?
I'd say Youth Culture, the desire – perhaps the need – to see what's new. The point is not to cling to the status quo, but to keep challenging the new one, whether in music, clothing or technology. I view this as a form of openness that still—and always—informs creation.
What is your biggest challenge – past, present or future?
I tend to proceed one step at a time in a long chain of steps. It is a marathon, not a sprint. That's how Kitsuné has grown. We continue to be amazed at the brand's potential and scope for expansion, which has exceeded our wildest expectations.
Do you have any work rituals?
Every day, come what may, I'm at the Café Kitsuné at 2.30pm.
Is there any kind of music or style that irritates you?
One night, the DJ at a club played nothing but trap music, a style of hip-hop. I have to admit that, after an hour, I'd had enough!
If you weren't in fashion and music, what could you see yourself doing?
I really love what I do, so it's hard for me to imagine doing something else. If I had to choose, I'd say that I would have liked to have learnt to write really well – another form of artistic expression.
Do you have a particular object or good-luck charm that you cherish? How much does it weigh?
Actually, I do. It's a little heart made by Baccarat. It probably weighs 200 grams.
What really matters to you?
My wife and children, my friends, my business and the people I work with. I've used the metaphor of a marathon. Marathon runners need support and to try to win for themselves and for their team.
Do you have any pieces by Le Gramme? How do you wear or use them?
I do. It's a 21g bracelet in smooth, polished 925 sterling silver. I like its "refined yet cool" look. Actually, I've just lost it. I miss it, but I’m sure it will turn up again. The Maison Kitsuné x LE GRAMME collaboration has come just at the right time.
What sparked your collaboration with Le Gramme?
It's a story in which prospective partners meet, get to know each other and develop respect for what the other has achieved. Finally, the time comes when they decide to get together and have children or, in our case, little silver foxes...
If Le Gramme were a style, a piece of music or an item of clothing, what would it be?
It would be a piece of electro music with a driving beat—something like Metro Area by Miura.
Photographer: Antoine Harinthe
Words: Chloé Prigent
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