On this week's episode of The Dropcast, hosts Jian Deleon and Noah Thomas were joined by Kith's very own Ronnie Fieg. The sneaker/fashion/ice cream/cereal master sat down to discuss some of the hottest drops of the week.
After discussing the unfortunate death of the great Juice WRLD, we get his opinion on drops and collabs, including the very talked-about Dior Jordans, Kanye's new YEEZY 700 MNVN “Phosphor" colorway, Theophilus London's new Off-White™ boots, 032c's adidas FYW S-97 Salvation's, and Beyoncé's new adidas. While discussing each topic, he expresses his great respect for all points of views and designs, and while he might not be the customer for each item, he is careful to not put anything down, explaining that he has often been in design rooms for countless hours, only to be met with negative feedback. So, while some things were for sure his vibe, others were "not for him."
After getting through all the quick hits, Ronnie talks about how he is preparing for his next collections and lets the world know his latest Bergdorf collab will have the streets on their toes. Jian brings up that Ronnie is about to go on another one of his amazing Kith trips, which are "adventures" where he invites close friends around the world to hang with him for a few days. Since his first one in Aspen, he has continued to expand this idea, making it more and more inclusive to his fans who otherwise might not have had the chance to get their hands on certain items and experiences.
Jian gets Ronnie to explain how he came up with this idea and why it's so important to him. We then get into the QOTW, which is where we ask Dropcast listeners to call the hotline, which is 833-HIGHSNOB (833-444-4766), and have them answer weekly questions. This week, the Q is "Best Kith Collab?" Versace, Bergdorf Goodman, and Greg Lauren all come up.
Of course, the show ends with our key segment "What Did You Cop?" Ronnie talks about how he went in on holiday shopping, and was gifted the "Viotech" dunks, a shoe he's been waiting to get his hands on.
The below interview is a transcribed version of ‘The Dropcast’ Episode 89. It has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Jian DeLeon: Let's just take a step back because every time you do something, you always just do it big.
Ronnie Fieg: Massive.
JD: Be it like Kith trips. You know, it's not a press trip, it's a Kith trip, which is a different class.
RF: It's actually really not a press trip at all.
JD: Yeah exactly.
RF: I'm really excited for this one. I get excited for all of these. I think the concept of what we're doing is really resonating with people in terms of now that social has gone global and you get to see parts of the world that you fantasize about. This has been six years going now. So we've been doing this for six years now. It's a big part of the brand, a big part of the motto, the Just Us motto and it's exciting.
JD: Also Just Us FOMO, that results from seeing Dave Guttman like what? Surfing in Mustique is that?
RF: No, it was Hawaii.
JD: Oh Hawaii, yeah. It's every time you launch something because you did Mustique, that was the Tommy one?
JD: And then Hawaii.
RF: It was for Coke in August.
JD: That was all for the Coke collab.
RFg: Yeah. Yeah.
JD: But you have the craziest cast of characters. I feel it should be a TV show.
RF: Yeah, honestly it's really the best time that I have during the year and the way that we think about these trips. I don't think that people really realize that it's not as thought out as people may think. It's more so we sit down in a room, the very beginning of the year, every year and we ask ourselves where we haven't been and it's so organic in the way that it's really been away from me because my entire life is work. So it's the outlet for me to be able to enjoy the work and enjoy it and celebrate it with friends is like the biggest and most important part of what I do.
NT: That's beautiful.
RF: The way that Aspen happened, it was, we literally threw a dart on the board and we're talking about, it's funny and this is when-
JD: And this is the trip I went on by the way.
RF: It was so incredible because we started talking about, "where can we go on a ski trip?" because we had the first experiential trip was in Miami when we did the pop up for ECP. Remember the East Coast Projects?
JD: Yes, I remember that one.
RF: Then after that we did what we did in Paris for COA and we did what we did in Tokyo for the Puma project that we did for Sakura. Then we went to Paris where we do with Colette and we went to Brazil for what we do with Asics in Sao Paulo for the World Cup.
RF: These are moments that's "where do I want to bring my friends and have a good time?" And we think backwards from that and then design the collection to the setting which we think about.
RF: So when thinking about Aspen, it was like thinking about different parts of the country where we can go skiing because we wanted to build this outerwear collection. Back then it was with Columbia and then obviously Adidas providing or not providing, but we were designing and they were providing the footwear.
JD: Still one of the rarest Kith collabs, that Boost.
Ronnie Fieg: Yeah, which one's? Oh the Mid.
JD: The Mid with the silver on the heel counter.
RF: Oh yeah, the friends and family, the old white ones. Yeah, those are crazy, but we think about it and we were sitting down and were thinking about different names and we're like, Kith Tahoe, Kith... and back then we were even thinking about Kith Jackson, Kith Aspen and we were sitting down, we both look at each other and it was me and Thomas that were throwing the words around and we were just brainstorming and we look at each other and we're like "Kith Aspen!"
RF: And it's the only time I've ever seen Aspen was in Dumb and Dumber. You know what I mean? Like just thinking about that boy and it was like, "that's where we got to do it". Let's get Aspen.
RF: So I got on the phone.
JD: Where the beer flows like water.
RF: Where the beer flows like wine.
RF: Yes, that's where we were. This is what it got to be. So we went and we started to explore Aspen and I went there for the first time and I've actually picked up the phone after that meeting, I just Googled the commercial real estate agent and then she picked up the phone and knew who we were and was so happy that we would even consider going to Aspen and we went over there, she put me in this amazing store and we did the popup back then, which housed the first Aspen collection with Columbia and then also, I don't know if you guys remember, but we did the Polar Bear Coke Collection, which was the first Coke collab that we did and this is four years ago, right?
JD: What I also want to talk about is, you have the journal on Kith and it seems like these trips are so expertly casted with the people that you invite, but literally like everything ties back, not just to the footwear collaboration's, but the entire collection, down to the pallet.
RF: So the journal is made to start thinking about, these are pictures that we compile in the very beginning on the photos and you the inspiration that we take into the design of the actual apparel.
JD: See, this is why we called you the mood board king though.
NT: Yeah, this is a vibe dude.
Ronnie Fieg: Yeah, because anybody who's seen me, it was just like-
Jian DeLeon: Wow!
Ronnie Fieg: So there's really two stories, right? This was meant to be daytime, morning kind of-
JD: Oh the gradient?
RF: Sunrise gradient, also a temperature story. So it's really twofold and this is one story that we're telling and then the other story is in this vibe right here and this is more of the sunset vibe and it's funny because this is very much in the Kith pallet of what we do and what we have done before.
JD: Oh, do you do a shell?
RF: Yes. The shell, the bottom zips off. So it's this long parka esque shell that is meant to be the outermost piece in the performance driven like downhill skiing type shit that we're going to do.
RF: We looked at this as the vibe and the moment and as soon as we saw that Aman was in Jackson, it was a no brainer. The Aman Hotel and what we did in Utah and then staying at the Aman in Tokyo, I'd become the biggest fan of the Aman Hotels.
JD: For sure.
RF: It's like the best hotel chain in the world, you know what I'm saying? So we wanted to take over the whole spot. So we're taking over the entire Aman, but most importantly the Caldera House, which is an amazing small boutique hotel on the mountain of Jackson Hole, we took a popup space there and we're going to open a pop up shop for this from Thursday to Sunday and we're coming there, I have no idea what to expect in terms of customers and people that will come in that are passionate about the brand or that follow the brand, but more so it was to build a vibe for the seventy of us. We're just going to come into the city and kind of take over for five days.
JD: So you know, book your PJ at the clearport right now. Get over to Kith, Jackson, Wyoming. Hang out at Grand Teton. Catch some vibes.
RF: To have the kids show up in Aspen, I think was an eye opener for me and then what we did in Hawaii. People had two days notice with the typhoon hitting that was supposed to hit Hawaii that weekend with two days notice, we still had 1500 kids outside, in Hawaii, Honolulu.
RF: It was just eye opening for us because I wanted to make these trips that we now have, I wanted to make it more inclusive to the people who want a piece of the brand-
NT: For sure.
RF: And to experience the brand. So I feel it was because the popup shop wasn't the idea.
RF: It was our ... Because the pop up shop wasn't the idea back when we first started thinking about it and even when we booked the hotel and all of that. That came about, I would say, about three months ago when I started to look at what we ... Really, when we came back from Hawaii. Because Hawaii was always meant to be a pop up. But when we came back, I thought about it, I was like, every future one of these trips should include a way for people to experience it, as well.
NT: One hundred percent.
RF: And make it more inclusive.
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next QOTW which will be posted on Highsnobiety’s Instagram, and leave a voicemail on The Dropcast hotline at 833-HIGHSNOB (833-444-4766) for a chance to be featured in a future episode.