First Look: Shu Uemura X Maison Kitsuné

Here’s what the fox says of this limited-edition makeup collection


Shu Uemura’s annual holiday collection is always something to look forward to - previous collaborators include Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, designer Karl Lagerfeld and even Lagerfeld’s cat, Choupette. And this year is no different.

The Japanese makeup brand has partnered with hip French record and fashion label Maison Kitsuné (which is French for “fox”) to create a fun collection that fuses Eastern and Western elements.

Even if you don’t need more makeup, this is worth scooping up for the limited-edition packaging, which features adorable drawings including a croissant, a fox and kimono. 

We speak to the three guys behind the collection - Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, co-founders of Maison Kitsuné, and Kakuyasu Uchiide, creative director of Shu Uemura - to find out more about it. 

In what ways do you think your two brands share a common universe?

MK: When I think of the clothes of Maison Kitsuné, they are timeless and simple, combining basic design with great fabrics, which you can wear and love for a long time. I feel like Shu Uemura shares this view and I also love their attention to detail and the chic, modern and pop aspects of their universe.

GL: I like the pioneering spirit of Shu Uemura; always forward-looking, which is in a way similar to my music creation. 

For this partnership, you’ve added beauty to your universe of music and fashion. What do you think about the result?

GL: For me, beauty is an attraction that is an extension of fashion, lifestyle and the entire aura of a woman’s personality, so by enhancing personality through music, fashion and cosmetics, we really are in the same universe. 

How did the “East meets West” theme come up for this collaboration?

MK: Tokyo is where I’m from, Paris is where I live, and New York is where I always want to go. Maison Kitsuné has a Parisian spirit and it is important for us to express our environment, inspiration and taste, and to tell our story to customers.

Paris inspires me in a lot of my work; I always try to create a certain Parisian timeless elegance in our stores by balancing different traditional materials. Shu Uemura is from Tokyo, Japan, so we tried to look into several traditional elements from Tokyo and Paris, fusing them into a timeless elegance.

KU: We had to find common elements and for this collaboration, we found that the “East meets West” was best. When we talked about the makeup, I proposed to combine Western and Oriental aesthetics into one look - smoky eyes that are representative of European countries together with high-placed flushed cheeks that are popular among the women in Tokyo. 

What is the message you’re sending via this collaboration?

KU: Women do not express themselves only through the use of makeup. Art, fashion and environment all influence women, and today’s modern beauty exists based on these different elements.

Maison Kitsuné expresses art, music and fashion, attracting many passionate fans around the world, and this collaboration is more like a cultural creation, which goes beyond just two companies coming together. This approach will surprise many women, but no matter because I think they’ll love it. 

The Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune 2015 Holiday Collection is priced from $29 and includes Eye & Cheek palettes, False Lashes and even a makeup box for your makeup and tools. Available at all Shu Uemura counters.

Photos: Shu Uemura 

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