It’s been 10 years since Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki founded Kitsuné, the Parisian record label and fashion house, after visiting Japan and observing the natural intersection between music and style. Since then they’ve built a small empire, and helped kick off the careers of many with their Kitsuné Maison compilations, of which artists like Hot Chip, Two Door Cinema Club, Digitalism, and Simian Mobile Disco have all benefited.
With this huge milestone moment in mind—not to mention their latest compilation just released—we chatted with Loaëc about Kitsuné’s past success and new possibilities for the future.
When you decided to start Kitsuné with Masaya Kuroki, were there any other models for a company that combines music and fashion in France or in Europe? Or was this something you had to pioneer on your own?
We do think Kitsuné is unique since it is a proper music label. We have been developing artists for 10 years now, but we are also a proper clothing line. Quality of manufacturing and fabrics are very important for us. In Japan, A Bathing Ape was a good source of inspiration.
Initially, did the music or the fashion establish the Kitsuné brand and help you become recognized?
Music spreads faster.
What is one of your most memorable moments of running Kitsuné these past 10 years?
Opening our Maison Kitsuné store in New York and also our platinum records of Two Door Cinema Club in the UK!
With the profusion of music blogs, self-taught producers, and indie artists, how do you filter out the noise and select the artists that are right for Kitsuné?
Ouch… It’s not very simple indeed. We follow our flair, I would say. Sometimes it is only opportunism. We released many singles by La Roux, Simian Mobile Disco, A-Trak, Boyz Noise, Klaxons, Digitalism, The Magician… The list is very long!
Do you have any advice for new labels that are just getting started?
Be passionate and curious.
When you started assembling the Kitsuné America compilations, were there any special considerations for the selecting for the US audience? Are there any significant differences between the Kitsuné Maison and Kitsuné America comps?
I focus on finding the good songs. The formula is the same for both compilation series, but for Kitsuné America, it is only American artists.
Which artists are you most excited about right now?
Citizens!, LOGO, BeatauCue, and the return of Heartsrevolution on Kitsuné. Otherwise I love so many things. I am very much into Diplo’s stuff at the moment. And I would love to sign hip-hop on Kitsuné.
You have a remix on the Kitsuné Maison 14 10th-anniversary compilation and have been known to produce. What do you enjoy most about this type of creation?
It is very new for me. I would love to get to see some DJs playing my remixes!
Who are your biggest musical influences?
As much pop music (The Smiths, etc.) to dance music, house music, Strictly Rhythm or Dancemania back in the day!
What does the future hold for Kitsuné?
The best. We are working on opening two stores in Tokyo in February 2013, and we still keep signing good singles and artists. We got Lifelike feat. A-Trak coming up, but also Punks Jump Up!