June 16, 1982
Queens, New York, USA
New York, USA
The retail mastermind behind streetwear giant Kith – and the guy that made Asics and velour tracksuits cool – NYC-based designer Ronnie Fieg started from humble beginnings flogging boots at downtown footwear shop David Z. in the mid-90s. Sneakerhead culture as we know it was only in its nascent stages, and he was slowly working his way up the ladder, as a junior buyer then as a buyer opening up athletic footwear accounts. Asics was one of them, and in 2007 the brand tapped Fieg for a collaboration. The result is one of the most long-standing and prolific sneaker collaborations in history.
Fieg would go on to launch his own streetwear empire Kith, with shops in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Los Angeles, Miami and London, and secure a dizzying array of limited-edition, instant-sellout collaborations with brands such as Nike, Bape, Columbia, Timberland, Coca-Cola, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Versace and Rugrats. With a 6 million following on Instagram, everyone from sneaker-connoisseurs, to A-listers and your average guy monitors his next move.
When Fieg was tapped by Asics for a collaboration in 2006 he could choose freely from their archives. He chose the ASICS Gel-Lyte III for sentimental reasons more than anything else, as he remembers wanting a pair of Rebook Pumps as a kid, but as his mother couldn’t afford back then she got him a pair of ASICS Gel-Lyte III.
He hated the shoes at first, but grew to love them and wore them until the soles had holes in them. The first Fieg x Asics collab the “252 Pack” drops in May 2007, with several more in the pipeline. By 2016 Fieg had created 50 collabs and counting. Watch this space.
Still working at David Z, Fieg is approached by Asics to collaborate on a redesign of a shoe from their archive. Fieg chooses the ASICS Gel-Lyte III, a sneaker he remembers from his childhood. It drops in 2007 and lands on the front cover of WSJ selling out within 24 hours. The subsequent success results in a lasting partnership to this day.
The Ronnie Fieg x ASICS Gel-Lyte III “Cove” drops, his simple but effective use of colour blocking catching everyone’s attention again.
Fieg opens the first Kith stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn carrying brands like Adidas, Puma, New Balance and Timberland. Partnering with over 50 brands, and also selling his own collaborations with Asics and Nike makes him one of the most hyped sneaker designers and collaborators around.
Releases a varsity jacket in collaboration with Shades of Grey to coincide with the drop of his Ronnie Fieg x New Balance “Salmon Sole”. He also releases Ronnie Fieg x ASICS Gel-Lyte III “Salmon Toe” the same year.
The Kith success story transcends apparel, with the revamp of his Brooklyn store to incorporate Kith Treats – Fieg’s own cereal and ice-cream bar. The Instagrammable space and signature aesthetic is designed by Snarkitecture and features 750 cast white Air Jordan 2s hanging from the ceiling.
The Kith Miami flagship store opens and also a mountain inspired pop-up store in Aspen, Colorado. Participating brands includes A Bathing Ape, Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Power Rangers and Rugrats. 2016 also marks his 50th collaboration with Asics.
The Kith Treats business grows with collabs with Cap’n Crunch, new pop-up shops and an accessories and apparel line.
Fieg opens LA Store and Kith Treats is behind the resurrection of the Got Milk? moustache campaign – featuring Seth Rogen and Chrissy Teigen. Kith also collaborates with Coca Cola and throws runway show Kith Park featuring Tommy Hilfiger – and more notably – Versace collabs, marking the streetwear debut of the luxury fashion behemoth.
The first Kith location outside of the U.S. opens with a shop (and accompanying Kith Treats) in Selfridges in London, with whispers of a shop in Paris. Fieg also creates limited-edition shirts and hoodies for Carbone and Sadelle’s – two of his favourite Manhattan food digs.