Kith founder Ronnie Fieg has been named the 2021 Person of the Year by Footwear News, in recognition of his bold business acumen and uncanny talent for creating covetable product.
While other retailers tread cautiously this year, Fieg charged full speed ahead by opening a sprawling flagship in Paris, plus a door in Hawaii. And to mark the 10th anniversary of the brand, Kith released its most elevated collection to date for fall ’21, which it celebrated in a 300-page collectible book starring a number of longtime fans and friends, including Raekwon, Daniel Arsham, Nigel Sylvester, Victor Cruz, Adrien Brody, Michael J. Fox and Bobby Cannavale.
And if that wasn’t enough to keep Fieg occupied, the fashion veteran also took on the new category director role with Clarks, where he has pledged to bring a modern perspective to the iconic British shoe label.
Meanwhile, the streetwear guru also remains a go-to collaborator for the biggest brands in the business. (After all, he was named the FN Collaborator of the Year in 2017.) To mark the debut of his Paris and Hawaii stores, Fieg created a special-edition Nike Air Force 1 for each door, inspired by the area. And one of Kith’s best collaborative collections for its 10-year anniversary was with Vault by Vans. The range, which arrived in May, featured 10 premium iterations of the iconic Slip-On silhouette. Other collab partners this year included Birkenstock, Wilson and Adidas.
What’s more, Fieg and his team signed on in February to the 15 Percent Pledge, to hold the company accountable for promoting more Black designers and creatives.
For 35 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards (often called the “Shoe Oscars”) have celebrated the style stars, best brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talents and industry veterans. Previous winners of the Person of the Year award have included James, Kerby Jean-Raymond and Christian Louboutin.
After going virtual in 2020, the FNAAs will return with an in-person celebration on Nov. 30 at Cipriani South Street in New York. The event is supported by presenting sponsor Nordstrom, as well as Authentic Brands Group, FDRA, Informa, On and Wolverine Worldwide.
Other honorees include the Crocs Classic Clog as Shoe of the Year, Law Roach as Style Influencer of the Year, Allyson Felix for Launch of the Year and Authentic Brands Group as Company of the Year. Additionally, Paris, Nicky and Kathy Hilton will take home The Icon Award.