Two words: Bonzai Tree. Oh, two more: Omotesando Coffee. Reason enough to go have a chic-zen moment at the new Kitsune Cafe and boutiques that just opened today on Omotesando.
Photos by Mami Tanabe for TfD
“Kitsune” is a Japanese fox who in mythology is a trickster that can transform into many shapes. Kitsune then chose this as the name for their brand in 2002 because they encompass so many different arenas of creativity. Many of us probably learned of Kitsune through their music label and DJ performances, but Masaya Kuroki and Gildas Loaec also are the pioneers of the new Parisian Prepster style with their Maison Kitsune fashion label. It’s become so popular that it has its own flagship shop in Paris (check out my report from December when I visited here), New York, and now FINALLY Tokyo. We say “finally” because thees two best friends got the inspiration for and their career starts here in Tokyo. Now they are based in Paris though (and they are also now head designers of French brand Petit Bateau).
So I got to talk to the two guys again yesterday, after visiting the boutique (a huge, wide-open space) and then down the block is Cafe Kitsune which is totally awesome.
This of Japanese garden-meets-French-maison. The entrance is all bamboo like you’re going to a traditional Japanese restaurant, but then inside the wallpaper is a mix of POP-ified French and Japanese traditional motifs. The clothes sold here are a bit more casual and colorful street-style as well.
AND!!!…there’s a Bonsai Tree. “We have this specialist come in, and he takes care of it. It’s 50 years old, you know!” said Masaya to me, and I joked about their “Bonsai Babysitter”. But being so attentive to detail is what makes their brand and music so popular. Simple, but super high-quality. That’s their motto. Gildas and Masaya also told me that it was super hard to get the attention of the press in Paris, and they had no choice but to keep on doing their own thing because it didn’t matter anyway. “You know, to be a new or young brand in Paris is tough, because you’re competing with LVMH (Louis Vuitton etc) brands.”
Here at the cafe they are serving Omotesando Coffee which is this super buzzed-about tiny little coffee stand that was only supposed to be open for a short time but proved so popular it not only stayed open, but now it’s been hired by Kitsune! Aside from coffee there’s also the Omotesando Coffee little cube cakes which have been talked about all over the internet. And that’s all. Again, simple but super high quality.
So congrats to Kitsune, and these two spaces are definitely going to be must-visits on Tokyo shopping scourges. I`ll be happily meeting friends at the Kitsune Cafe from here on, too.
〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山3-15-13 (Shop)
〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山3-17-1 （Cafe)