Ronnie Fieg Says He’s Not ‘The Sneaker Guy’ and Reveals How Kith Will Grow

For the FN Innovators video series, we spoke with Kith leader Ronnie Fieg in late September in a downtown New York City photo studio. During our conversation, the designer and collaborator shared insight on several topics, including why he’s a “footwear guy” and not a “sneaker guy.”

“My love for footwear stemmed from working in the basement in 1995 on Eighth Street at David Z and the product I started working with was not athletic, it was more so brown shoes and boots — mostly hikers — and that’s what I really fell in love with first,” Fieg told FN. “I was working in the stockroom bringing in deliveries and I had one-on-one time with the product. That was mostly how I really became passionate about footwear, and I love footwear as a whole, I don’t like to be pigeonholed into one category or another.

“A lot of people like to call me the sneaker guy, but if you look on the wall, the Kith wall will always represent the best of footwear the way I see it through my lens, which is brown shoes, boots, hikers and athletic footwear,” he explained.

Aside from his passion for footwear, the Kith founder, who graced the Oct. 28 cover of FN, also addressed how large he’d like his retail and apparel empire to become.

“I don’t think there’s an answer that I have in mind for that right now. I’m taking it a day at a time,” Fieg said. “Obviously, we need to work 12 to 18 months out, but the growth is really dependent on where we are as a brand, where we are as a team and the bandwidth because as the business grows, you want to be able to still focus on projects the way that we do so we’re taking it slowly. I feel like we’ve evolved tastefully and that’s the most important part to it.”

Watch the video with Fieg above for the full conversation.

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