It was on one of their frequent seasonal buying trips to Paris that the brothers Brian and Vincent Wu – of the popular Incu boutiques – first visited the Café Kitsuné. They remember being first struck by, and subsequently loving, the level of detail with which everything in the space at the Palais Royale was executed: “From the music they played [to] the baked goods and chocolate they had on offer”, the brothers recall of their fateful first encounter.
Anyone who has visited one of the brothers’ Incu stores and a Kitsuné outpost will appreciate the immediate and immaculate synergy between both brands. For Maison Kitsuné, which was founded in Paris and refined in Tokyo in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc, a music producer, and Masaya Kuroki, an aspiring architect, and the brothers Wu alike, a tight edit is paramount no matter the genre – be it fashion, music and, as of 2013, food – nor the location (the brothers are also frequent patrons of the Aoyama, Tokyo, branch of the Café Kitsuné).
“It doesn’t really come as much of a surprise that the guys at Maison Kitsuné have come up a great experience for both locations as they have always been very creative with all their retail spaces,” the brothers said of their contemporaries in Kitsuné, a name borrowed by the Japanese for ‘fox’ (for the uninitiated, the carnivore moonlights in tricolore miniature as the brand’s logo). It comes as little surprise then that the two should join forces to launch, however temporarily, an Australian iteration of the Maison’s Café brand in Australia with a month-long pop-up at the site of the Artificer café in Sydney’s Surry Hills. “I think our sense of creating things that are both desirable and fun have always tied us together and the fact that this concept materialised in a couple of months really solidifies our mutual understanding of each other,” the brothers added of the relatively short-lived though no less enriching venture.
The result is a highly considered offering of the kind you would expect from the parties responsible. In addition to the typically exceptional coffee offering on offer from the host premises, a series of food partners in Black Star Pastry, Brickfields bakery and Gelato Messina elevates the fare above the usual high standard. “We’ve really approached the pop-up the same way that I think we would with anything that we do at Incu,” the brothers said of their approach. “We wanted to really provide a tightly curated offering at the café that was different to what other cafés would offer. Obviously the fact that we have all the Café Kitsuné merchandise for sale is quite different from what you would find in most cafés.”
As far as said merchandise goes, there are few jerseys or printed tees that one could hope to sport that would have you looking as discerning as these. Additionally, a series of tote bags and keep cup-style tumblers are primed to become hot property, no matter their contents, long after the fox has jumped the trap.
The Café Kitsuné x Incu pop-up at Artificer will continue until December 21. More information is available here.
Tile and cover image: Supplied