Last week, GQ published a piece asking a question: Is Ronnie Fieg the most important man in NYC sneaker culture? If you asked the same question of the KicksOneTwo staff, the answer would be a resounding yes. Ronnie has changed the industry greatly, not just with his sneakers but also with his apparel. It’s only right to touch on Ronnie’s impact on the industry as a whole, and the direction he’s pushing his brand Kith in.
Even though sneakers is the main focus of this site, we’d be remiss to not touch on Ronnie’s contribution to the fashion side of things. Although jogger pants have been considered cool for years in Europe, it wasn’t until Ronnie introduced the Mercer pant (Kith’s jogger pant) that they really started to take off in the US. The quality and the cut of the pants was on point, and sneakerheads all over the US realized that a jogger cuff on the bottom of your pants afforded you a better opportunity to show off your prized sneakers.
Thanks to this, brands like Publish and Zanerobe were able to push more of their jogger pants into the market, and now the jogger is a staple in the closet of most sneakerheads. Even giant corporations like Pac Sun and Abercrombie have caught on and offer their own brand of jogger pants. You know someone’s started something big when the corporations arrive late to the party, as they are so apt to do.
Secondly, Ronnie has helped keep the collab sneaker alive. Although collaborative sneakers are a dime a dozen nowadays, he’s managed to always keep his collabs fresh and interesting. Every sneaker has a meaningful backstory (something that’s severely lacking in most shoes nowadays), and are constructed of only the highest quality materials. It’s no small feat that in today’s heavily saturated sneaker market, a brand like Kith can constantly remain ahead of the curve, and Ronnie deserves a lot of credit for that.
Ronnie Fieg’s contribution to sneaker culture as a whole is huge and cannot be ignored. Forget New York, he’s one of the most influential people in the industry right now. Here’s hoping he can continue cranking out excellent designs for several more years.