Footwear and apparel designer Ronnie Fieg launched his career by collaborating with Asics on a collection of their Gel Lyte III sneakers in 2007, effectively setting the stage for much of his work since. While he has gone on to collaborate with multiple other brands, including Timberland and New Balance, he is still most well-known for his many Asics designs, and the Gel Lyte III in particular has become synonymous with his name. That might change soon, though, as his newest store sees him partnered with a different and higher-profile brand.

 

Fieg’s popular footwear store Kith is set to open a pop-up collaboration store with Nike later this month. The shop will occupy the space at 644 Broadway, replacing longtime and intimate neighbor Atrium (visitors were able to walk through Kith into Atrium by way of a sliding glass door).

 

Fieg’s business ventures are sometimes unpredictable, such as his opening a cereal bar in Kith’s Brooklyn location, but it is safe to assume that the pop-up will bring a Fieg x Nike collaboration, and the base sneaker will probably be one of Nike’s less popular models, as Fieg is the type to create the hype than to pander to it.

 

Yeezy's Boost sneakers from ADIDAS (sneakernews.com)

Yeezy’s Boost sneakers from ADIDAS (sneakernews.com)

The move is a strategic one for Nike, a company that is still the most valuable sportswear manufacturer in the world, but has lost prominence in the streetwear world to other large footwear companies. Just three or four years ago, sneakers by Nike and its Air Jordan line were by far the pairs most widely desired by teen streetwear enthusiasts. Since Kanye West designed his last sneaker with Nike in 2013, though, Adidas sneakers like Kanye’s Yeezy Boost collection, Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 Qasa, and the classic Superstars have become wildly popular, as have some high-profile collaborations by smaller companies such as Puma. Meanwhile, Nike sneakers’ popularity has fallen off somewhat.

 

While Fieg is expected to breathe new life into Nike’s brand, it is unclear how the pop-up store will shift his future collaborations. Asics and the Gel Lyte III will forever be attached to Ronnie Fieg’s name, but it is very possible that the designer will start to move away from Asics and focus on collaborations with bigger and more prominent labels like Nike, since he has never before opened a store featuring a specific footwear brand like the Kith x Nike pop-up will. Regardless, though, Fieg’s collaboration is sure to draw attention, and will certainly shift the current landscape of luxury sportswear.

 

Have you ever shopped at Kith or owned a sneaker designed by Ronnie Fieg? Let me know here or on Twitter @BillChangNY