Synonymous with high quality product and exciting collaborations with brands such as; Adidas, Asics and Sebago, not to mention owning one of the world’s best sneaker stores, in Kith, Ronnie Fieg has come a long way since his days pushing the shop floor at David Z.
In a rare online interview, we got the chance to ask Ronnie some questions that others didn’t; touching on what fulfils him as a person, the fashion game and being one step ahead of an ever changing game.
So, who are you, really. Where are you from?
I’m Ronnie Fieg from Jamaica, Queens.
You’re obviously a dedicated guy, driven to achieve your end goal. But what gives you that drive every day and what exactly are you driving toward?
It’s not an easy thing staying motivated on a daily basis, but when your work is your passion and you’re working with what you love it makes it that much easier. I’m able to work on product that I love and I feel like I’m blessed to be able to do that, but at the same time it takes hard work to end up at that point. When you work on product and see the releases it’s a new high, instead of drugs or gambling, that’s my high, being able to work on product and seeing it do well. I love to have that feeling.
What gives you your kicks (mind the pun)? Is it creating a new product, being able to employ yourself, being able to employ others, what?
It’s fulfilling to see my friends work with me and it’s fulfilling to see the brand grow with the people I care about the most. They play such a big part in that. The ability to create product gives me my drive everyday and makes this place special. It differentiates us from the rest. We have top tier product, but being able to create product is very important.
Is your product your true passion or is there something far greater you aim to achieve?
The goals have always been the same. It’s to expand and to make everyone aware globally of what we’re trying to do. It’s really about trying to offer a more premium product of what’s usually inline or in offering from all these brands and give the customer more than what they pay for.
Where do you think you fit in with the fashion game – and what are your thoughts on the scene as where it stands?
I think we stand in a very unique place. All of the customers that come in here are educated consumers. The goal is to stay somewhere between what people want and what people can afford. We also want to stay somewhere in the middle with our product where we’re not a fashion house, but at the same time we’re offering something in that realm where people can come in here and fulfill all their needs in being able to wear high end fitted product but on a street level price.
You always seem to be one step ahead, with fabrics and styles, notably the animal prints you’ve been using as of lately. Are you just good at predicting trends or do you think that you’re in a position now where you set them?
I feel like in the beginning one of my strongest traits was being able to work with the consumer and I was able to see the reports. I feel like I got the read off of what the consumer was buying and it was based upon what people wanted. Now I feel like Kith has built a foundation in trust with the consumer where they can come here and we can give direction in where we want to go and where the consumer wants to be. So now we’re looking to set trends and not follow them.
How big a step was it to open your own retail space, in two locations no less, and whats the end goal with Kith? Where does it fit in with the other NYC stores?
Opening a retail space was the biggest step in my life. Regarding how we compare with other New York stores, I don’t really look at what others are doing, I mean this is something I had an idea to do, it was something that wasn’t currently being offered in the marketplace and it was to fill a void. People want special product and don’t have a place to go for it. We wanted to open and build something where now people can have a destination and a place to go, not only for the product but for the educational experience in learning about product and what they’re getting. I look to be the best in not only New York City but in the world. We want to have the number one footwear store for men on the planet and that’s the goal.