"I'm so New York, Weezy probably don't like me," raps Fabolous on, "So NY." The sentiment perfectly captures Queens-born Ronnie Fieg's first New York Fashion Week show, hosted at Samsung's 837 space.
In fact, Fieg was so New York he actually tapped Fab to open the aptly titled "Kithland" show, leaving more than a few spectators double-checking whether they'd RSVP'd for a fashion presentation or concert.
The majority of the audience watched from balconies, which offered a bird’s-eye view of the action. A smaller minority was given seating, with a free Samsung tablet as their place markers. Among the denizens of the front row were Amina Blue, Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert - whose babysitter is probably cleaning up nicely this fashion week.
Bella Hadid, Nick Wooster, and Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of Public School also came out to show support. Rapper Lil Uzi Vert and his girlfriend Brittany Byrd found seating a few rows back, and several of Fieg's athlete supporters like Kelly Oubre Jr. of the Washington Wizards also circulated throughout the venue.
The collection itself was overwhelming; Fieg apparently doesn't do things by small measure. He opted to show 90 looks comprising Kith's entire yearly offering and all of its collaborations. For many, it was a sudden departure from seasonal shows that often feel as though they've ended before they really start. There did seem to be an effort to stymie the visual overload by separating the looks by season, and offering the audience a performance from a New York artist between each set.
Fieg didn’t buck tradition where it came to timing though; the show started almost an hour late and led with spring/summer offerings. Models meandered across a short stage flanked by a large screen with oceanic imagery and the words "Beach" written in minimalist font.
For the Kith customer, summer means soft grays, pastel pinks, Kith-printed pool slides, and fairly straightforward basics. A strong sense of athleticism permeated the offering with lightweight slouchy pants, board shorts and other summer lounge staples taking front and center.
Fieg fell back on his roots once again when the screen shifted to what is arguably the most famous scene in Taxi Driver. "You talking to me?," queried a young Robert Di Nero, a cue for a lively performance from The Lox to begin.
Next up was the "City" portion, which quickly lived up to its moniker. Layered looks that fell at the intersection of sporty and luxe were marched briskly across the stage as a sky-view of the Big Apple played in the background. Jogger pants, plaid button-front shirts, knit beanies, and track suits that zipped diagonally along the chest aimed for both trend and comfort. For the most part, Fieg kept the colors subdued, as any New Yorker would.
Lastly, Fieg showed the "Mountain" portion, which came on the heels of a performance by Ma$e. The former Bad Boy rapper’s set involved the near-loss of his chain. Perhaps Fieg believes in saving the best for last because his winter wear had some of the strongest full looks. Fur-trimmed jackets were paired with Timberland boots, ski masks and wearable pullover styles in subdued colors.
As a whole, the collection, while extremely large, is difficult to fault purely because it checks all the boxes. It's wearable, there are offerings for every season, and it's designed to be trendy without feeling too gimmicky. All in all, there's a retail-oriented savvy about Kith that makes it generally inoffensive and extremely buyable. Pulling of a 90-plus look collection full of high-end collaborations certainly isn't easy. Congrats to Fieg for pulling it off. This was certainly one of fashion week's big moments.
Take a look at our exclusive behind-the-scenes mini-doc on Fieg's preparation for Kithland.