An image from designer Ronnie Fieg’s new book “10 Years of KITH” is emblematic of his journey. In the photos, Fieg’s childhood friend Joey Coronado, now an adult, sits on a bench outside PS 178 in Queens, wearing Fieg-branded designs: a hooded jacket, pants brown cargo, a knit beanie featuring the NY Yankees logo, plus a pair of Nike Air Force 1. “He’s my best friend and that’s where we met and where I discovered and fell in love with the product, ”Fieg said in an interview. “It was a real moment for me.”
Beyond its personal significance, the photo shows how skillfully Fieg harnessed his own past and obsessions to forge a streetwear empire. Nostalgia, longing, obsession: these themes are the guidelines woven throughout the book “10 Years of KITH”, which Fieg publishes to commemorate his first decade in the business.
While he started out as a storekeeper in his uncle David Z’s shoe store, over the past few years Fieg has built a reputation for fashion shows that are akin to daredevil drama: the time he placed his audience on moving bleachers, the paintings featuring collaborations with Versace and Tommy Hilfiger, or the moment he bathed Cipriani’s ornate interior with immersive 360-degree video, transporting audiences to the New York skyline, the Eiffel Tower or snow-capped peaks. So why the sudden switch to print media? The uncertainty of Covid, he said, sparked some reflection: would he even be able to throw his typical massive party? This led to something deeper: “It really made me start to think about what the show supposed, “he said. Fieg noted that today even huge media events like the Oscars or the Met Gala require enormous attention, to fade away as quickly as they came. He was looking for something more permanent. “I started to think about what the milestone should represent and how people should perceive it as something that could be eternal,” he said. “It’s the most thing. important to me. “