The multi-faceted, French-Japanese fashion brand and music label Maison Kitsuné (which garnered a cult following for its Tokyo-meets-Paris minimalism and luxury) recently opened its first art gallery. A sunlit space in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill, Galerie Kitsuné is dedicated to celebrating emerging artists and does so with the same whimsy as it does with apparel and music. Presented in collaboration with art magazine balcony, the gallery’s debut exhibition, A Chair is a Chair is a Chair, features a series of 13 delightful and humorous drawings from Mexican artist Mario Navarro. On view now until 3 April, the show marks a natural, exciting extension for the ever-evolving brand.
At the corner of Pacific and Bond, the laidback, pastel-toned Galerie Kitsuné adjoins a cafe and 300 square feet of exhibition space. Currently, its walls are adorned with Navarro’s reinterpretations of Michael Thonet’s iconic Chair No 14. Each colored-pencil drawing on pulp-dyed paper places the bistro chair in new context as different objects or body parts protrude through it. A mushroom bisects the chair’s woven-cane seat in one; a tennis ball completely overtakes the seat in another. The effect is humorous and cheeky—not unlike Kitsuné’s own aesthetic—but often this whimsy conceals a deeper critique on consumerism, modernism and appropriation.
Navarro’s series aligns conceptually with the fashion label’s mission for the gallery: to merge art with the quotidian. Helming the space is head of culture and lifestyle at Kitsuné, Sarah Carrier, who tells COOL HUNTING, “We started a conversation with the new and forward-thinking publication, balcony magazine, over the summer about collaborating on an exhibition and we shared a mission and ethos of bringing art into the everyday.” Navarro’s meditations on the famed, domestic furnishing (rethinking how and why various objects are conceived) does this explicitly.
This quest to infuse art wherever possible is not dissimilar from what the fashion brand has been doing from the onset. As Carrier explains, “Throughout Kitsuné’s 20 years in business, we have always looked to artists for inspiration and collaboration—whether that be designing pieces of clothing, album covers and everything in between. It seemed only natural that we would expand more formally to include an art gallery in the world of Kitsuné.”
Carrier herself has wanted to see different creative worlds merge within the brand for a while now. She tells us, “Fashion, music and art have been intertwined since the beginning of time—they’re each ways in which we all express ourselves creatively.” Expanding into the art world enables Kitsuné to, as Carrier says, “bring together interesting creatives to share their vision, to spark conversation and, overall, to offer a lifestyle that people can be part of.”
For the intersectional brand, accessibility is integral to that lifestyle. That’s why the gallery is specifically dedicated to new and emerging artists, some of whom have not had the opportunity to exhibit their art before. “We’re excited to provide a platform for an eclectic array of artists to show their work,” continues Carrier. “With artworks at a variety of price points, we’re also hoping to open up the idea of collecting art to those who don’t. We’re also excited to introduce fans of the brand to a new corner of Kitsuné.”
With shows featuring Good Fucking Design Advice, Conrad Clifton, Thandiwe Muriu, Pepo Moreno and imruh asha, Gallerie Kitsuné is slated to be an exciting space for unexplored art, spanning photography, sculpture, installation, painting, nontraditional mediums and even poetry readings and talks. For those interested in the creative fields, the exchange of ideas in general or just longtime fans of the brand, this new site holds inspiration.
Hero image courtesy of Galerie Kitsuné