Kith founder Ronnie Fieg will receive the very first Collaborator of the Year award at the FN Achievement Awards, a notable accomplishment. In previous years, the magazine has honored specific partnerships, such as Manolo Blahnik x Vetements and Pharrell’s Bee Line x Timberland boots. But for 2017, it was one man — not one project — that captured imaginations with his collaborative gifts.
Month after month, Fieg unveiled unexpected and blockbuster footwear creations with top brands, including Adidas, Off-White and Fear of God, not to mention his first footwear collab with Nike.
Here are eight reasons FN selected this trailblazer for this unique honor. Scroll down to find out what was No. 1.
8. Kith x Adidas Soccer (Season 1)
In May, the retailer debuts special soccer kits for the Kith Cobras in New York and Kith Flamingos in Miami, including a bold yellow version of the Copa Mundial Turf Trainer for the Cobras.
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7. Kith x Fear of God
It was an East-West mashup in the sleekest way, when Kith and Fear of God released their handcrafted Military Sneaker in March.
6. Ronnie Fieg x Dover Street Market x New Balance
Fieg and New Balance have a long and prosperous collaborative history. Their latest team-up was with uber-hip retailer Dover Street Market to reinvent the classic 574 running silhouette.
5. Kith x Adidas Soccer (Season 2)
At the beginning of November, Kith added a third soccer team to its roster: the Rays in L.A. For the occasion, the retailer unveiled new kits for all the teams, including an all-black Nemeziz Ultra Boost 17+ for the Cobras.
4. Ronnie Fieg x Off-White
Fieg put his own spin on Off-White’s hiking boot, outfitting it in gray suede with apricot-colored laces and heel pulls. Proving once again that real men don’t fear pink.
3. Kith x Coca-Cola x Converse
Could you get more all-American than this? Kith united two iconic names with a special Coca-Cola-themed Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ’70 sneaker, released at the height of summer.
2. Ronnie Fieg x Filling Pieces
Hybrid designs can be a tricky business, but Fieg’s sandal-sneaker with Filling Pieces was flawlessly executed — and as a bonus seemed to thumb its nose at all the sandal haters of the world.
1 (tie). Kith x Nike
Fieg fulfilled one of his own lifelong dreams this year when he worked with Nike to reimagine two of Scottie Pippen’s signature sneakers: the Maestro II and Air Pippen 1. His designs, which debuted on the Kith Sport runway this fall, simultaneously honored the NBA legend’s career and revived these sneaker styles for a new era.
This marks the 31st year of the FN Achievement Awards, often dubbed the “Shoe Oscars” of the footwear industry. The much-anticipated event will be held on Nov. 28 at the IAC Building in New York and will honor the brightest stars of the business.
Among them: Designer of the Year Gianvito Rossi, Company of the Year Steve Madden and Launch of the Year Alexa Chung. Additionally, Stan Smith will receive the Manolo Blahnik Lifetime Achievement Award, and the crown for Shoe of the Year will go to Virgil Abloh’s Air Jordan 1.
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