Kith founder Ronnie Fieg knows a good collaboration when he sees one.
Some brands are known for pulling off great collaborations. Ronnie Fieg, on the other hand, has completely mastered them. The Queens, New York, native got a taste of the retail game at a young age, working as a stock boy and salesman for his cousin’s New York City footwear chain, David Z, at just 13. Within a handful of years, he worked his way up to manager and head buyer, where he was also responsible for arranging brand collaborations.
First up: a partnership with Japanese footwear brand Asics, which asked Fieg to update three of its existing Gel Lyte III designs. After a photo of the reimagined shoes landed on the cover of The Wall Street Journal, they sold out in less than a day—and launched Fieg to a new level of fame.
Since that fateful partnership, the footwear fanatic has gone on to collaborate with a nearly endless list of brands, from Adidas and Converse to Polo Ralph Lauren and, most recently, Coca-Cola. And in that time, he’s perfected the art of the drop, crafting insane levels of hype and demand for limited-edition products that often sell out before they even hit the shelves.
With interests spanning beyond just footwear, Fieg opened his own store, Kith NYC, in Brooklyn in 2011, growing to five free-standing stores in New York, Miami and Los Angeles in the seven years since. In 2012, Kith launched its own in-house apparel line, featuring everything from tees and hoodies to pants and outerwear for both men and women. The line quickly took off, competing head to head with brands like Off-White, John Elliott + Co, and Acronym, which all found a home at Fieg’s Kith locations.
But it wasn’t until recently that Fieg dipped his toes into the blue waters of denim. After a highly successful partnership with Japanese denim brand Ones Stroke in 2015—in which the pair teamed up to create an indigo collection filled with distressed jeans, denim shirts and products sourced from the highest-quality Japanese selvedge denim—Kith officially launched its first denim collection in January 2017. The original line featured two jean cuts and an oversized trucker jacket, both available in three washes and made with 12 oz. Moroccan denim. And—no surprise here—many of the styles sold out upon arrival.
This past spring, Kith was all about the indigo again, with a 36-piece collection featuring artfully distressed jackets and jeans, as well as denim-inspired sweatpants and shorts. And in September, Fieg debuted Kith Park, a men’s and women’s high-end streetwear collection featuring collaborations with Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace and more.
It’s that element of surprise that leaves Fieg’s loyal fan base anticipating whatever covetable drop he comes up with next.