Maison Kitsuné appoints ex-Celine designer as creative director of ready-to-wear
One month before the next Paris Fashion Week, French label Maison Kitsuné has made its new design ambitions clear. The label, founded in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, announced the appointment of South Korean designer Yuni Ahn as creative director for its ready-to-wear collections. It is the first time Maison Kitsuné has looked to an external designer, its collections having so far always been styled by the two founders with their own creative team.
Previously, Ahn was in charge of style for the pre-collections and the catwalk collections at Phoebe Philo's Céline, having spent several years designing accessories under the British designer. Before then, Yuni Ahn studied at Central Saint Martins, then worked in the design studios of Stella McCartney, Chloé, Miu Miu and Paul Smith. She is a seasoned designer, and her first collection for Maison Kitsuné will be presented next January during the Paris Men’s Fashion Week, in the course of a co-ed show scheduled on Jan.18 - the first time Maison Kitsuné will feature on the Paris Fashion Week’s official calendar.
Maison Kitsuné is growing rapidly, especially in Asia, with partnerships in South Korea and China, and in parallel it also wants to strengthen its product range and fashion content. Maison Kitsuné currently produces three ready-to-wear lines, all under Ahn’s supervision: alongside the eponymous main line, there are the timeless looks of Maison Kitsuné Parisien, and the newly created ACIDE Maison Kitsuné, a range of pop/street essentials launched only a few months ago and positioned, in Maison Kitsuné’s own words, in the ‘genderless arty’ segment.
“We are thrilled to welcome Yuni Ahn to Maison Kitsuné as creative director, and together write a new chapter in the brand’s history. Yuni Ahn has a deep understanding of Maison Kitsuné’s current opportunities and shares the ambitions we have for our collections. We are convinced that her talent, vision and savoir-faire will help bring the brand further success and grow Maison Kitsuné into the independent Paris fashion house we’re aiming to become,” said Gildas Loaëc about the new hire.
Maison Kitsuné currently generates a revenue of €40 million and, since its creation, it has straddled the Parisian and Japanese fashion scenes. Thanks to its partner, Japanese group Stripe International, the label began to grow at a faster clip in 2016. Stripe International poured more resources into the partnership last spring, enabling Maison Kitsuné to boost its distribution network, its lifestyle/café business, and now also its fashion content.
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