KITH’S FORGET-ME-NOTS: Emily Oberg is out at Kith as the women’s creative lead, but the cultish retailer aims to welcome more shoppers through a Valentine’s Day initiative.
Oberg, who was with the company for about 16 months, declined via e-mail to elaborate on her plans, having given the exclusive to another publication, Complex. In that interview, she said she plans to do her own thing through her own brand-magazine-consultancy Sporty & Rich. Oberg is hoping for a collaboration with Converse on her wish list. Converse executives did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
In terms of Kith’s definitive plans, the company will have a one-day pop-up with PlantShed on Feb. 14 in its NoHo store. Valentine’s Day shoppers who buy any item on the women’s floor will be given a complementary bouquet. The floral company has collaborated with other fashion brands over the years including Victoria’s Secret, Rochambeau, Palmiers du Mal and Kirna Zabete. Like the Queens, N.Y.-born Kith founder Ronnie Fieg, PlantShed had been part of the New York landscape for a while. Started in the Fifties, the family-owned business’ 10,000-square-foot Upper West Side facility and rooftop greenhouse is catching on for fashion photo shoots. Kirna Zabete just used the space to shoot its spring look book, according to owner Eric Mourkakos.
In the tangential world of fashion, Mourkakos connected with Fieg through a mutual friend, Aimé Leon Dore’s creative director Teddy Santis. The trio collaborated for a Mykonos-inspired project at Kith. For Tuesday’s Palmier du Mal presentation, PlantShed will be providing palms and other greenery. A few fashion week parties are on the docket, but not runway shows as in seasons past. As for the secret to staying independent for more than six decades, Mourkakos said, “We really stay true to what we do and we never say, ‘No.’”
New York roots resonate with Fieg, who got into the footwear scene at the age of 12 as a stockboy at David Z. In the seven years since he started Kith with Snarkitecture-designed stores, streetside lines are often part of the decor, with sneakerheads willing to wait to buy limited-run footwear or collaborations with brands such as Nike and Moncler. In addition to its private label and multibrand apparel and footwear, Kith’s bars for cereal are another main attraction. The unexpected has always been part of Feig’s m.o. since launching Kith in 2011.