Maison Kitsuné has launched Kitsuné Ventures, a new investment arm focused on early-stage investment. The news was reported by WWD. The company’s first investment is in Brooklyn-based fashion label Conor McKnight.
Under the terms of the investment deal, Kitsuné will aid McKnight with logistics, distribution, and accounting for the brand. The designer will still retain 100 percent ownership of his company. Kitsuné could potentially become part-owner of the brand in the future, and they will receive the right of first refusal, meaning the company can match any outside investment McKnight is offered.
McKnight dared to do what few designers would do and launched his namesake label during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic using his unemployment money. During that time, he reached out to Kitsuné co-founder Gildas Loaëc and the brand’s general manager of America Vinod Katsuri to learn about launching a brand. In 2021, the two invested in the brand. By September, McKnight had a spot on the New York Fashion Week calendar.
With the new investment money, the designer plans to add to new staff. In the long run, Maison Kitsuné is also exploring the possibility of carrying McKnight’s brand in their stores or wholesale spaces. While Connor McKnight is still a young brand, this investment will be crucial in its growth.