Maison Kitsuné Brings Its Cafe To New York
Exterior, Café Kitsuné New York. All photographs by Mr Robert Bredvad, courtesy of Kitsuné
Maison Kitsuné, the Paris-based label that has effortlessly blended French and Japanese cool since its inception 17 years ago, is adding a taste of the Big Apple to the mix. Café Kitsuné opened its doors in New York City on 11 November, marking a new chapter in the brand’s journey to becoming a global lifestyle powerhouse.
This café marks the seventh iteration of their wildly successful band of ultra-stylish coffee shops, with outposts in Tokyo, Seoul and Paris, plus a full-fledged restaurant and bar near the Palais Royal garden. While a good deal of fashion-affiliated eateries tend to take a somewhat brash approach to branding moments and visual marketing, Café Kitsuné continues to pursue a subtler tactic, one that emphasises good atmosphere and great espresso over gratuitous Instagram opportunities (although we predict there will be no shortage of posts featuring the signature fox-shaped biscuits).
Interior, Café Kitsuné New York
Nestled in a quiet corner of the West Village, the café’s baby-blue façade captures your eye from down the block. Once inside, Kitsuné’s sophisticated touch is instantly recognisable: soft, natural furnishings glow in diffused light, complemented by exposed iron beams, white-washed brick walls and custom bamboo bistro chairs. A sleek, white-oak bar displays an array of mouth-watering pastries. As a whole, you can’t help but admire the attention to detail and the emphasis on creating a welcoming, relaxed environment. That was a priority for Maison Kitsuné co-founder Mr Masaya Kuroki. “For me, this is what I always imagined a New York cafe to be, from TV or the movies,” he explains. “They were always fancy and chic, in a way. Atmosphere is very important, but you also want some attitude.”
Café Kitsuné is getting a dose of that New York attitude thanks to a little help from some friends in town. Not just any friends, though. The menu has been developed by chef Mr Yuji Tani, one of the culinary heavyweights who has helped shape the city’s food scene. Choices include smoked salmon from Russ & Daughters, baked goods from Brooklyn’s beloved Burrow, and ice cream from perennial favourite Morgenstern’s. These are culinary holy grails in a sense, and partnerships of this calibre reflect a respect and admiration for Café Kitsuné as it joins the city’s increasingly competitive gastronomic market. “There’s been so much love for Kitsuné in New York,” says Mr Kuroki. “I feel really blessed.”
Russ & Daughters smoked salmon at Café Kitsuné New York
In addition to the incredible bites, Café Kitsuné will serve coffee brewed from Costa Rican beans along with a rotation of natural wines and sake. After its initial launch, the café will stay open from 7.00am to 1.00am on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 11.00pm the rest of the week, offering a daily oasis at practically any time of day. The hope is to create a space where customers will always feel welcome and at home.
If you’re unable to experience Café Kitsuné’s New York spot IRL, we have some good news: MR PORTER is exclusively offering the brand’s coveted merch online, from sweatshirts and T-shirts to ceramics and accessories reminiscent of the café’s black and cream-coloured interiors. “We’re making very simple, good quality merch,” says Mr Gildas Loaëc, CEO of Maison Kitsuné. “It gives people the opportunity to feel like a part of the Café Kitsuné community, wherever they are. It’s super cool to team up with MR PORTER on this.”