Stripe International says the partnership agreement is an investment, but has not disclosed the value of the deal.
Known as Cross Company until March, Stripe International holds a portfolio of about 10 Japanese ready-to-wear labels, in the medium and high-end segments. In 2009 it took over US label Thom Browne, selling a majority stake this year to US investment fund Sandbridge Capital.
Stripe International says it intends to rely on its new partner to enter the European market. It will join Kitsune’s strategic committee and contribute to the label’s expansion with its know-how and experience of the Asian and US markets. However, it will not be involved in managing Maison Kitsune Japan.
Maison Kitsune was founded in 2002 by Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki as a casual-chic, ready-to-wear label for men and women. Its garments are distributed through about 400 dealers and 10 directly owned stores – in Paris (four), New York (two), Tokyo (three) and Hong Kong (one) – as well as via retail corners in department stores.
The brand has also opened three Kitsune Cafes and has its own music label.