NEW YORK — The king of sneaker collaborations is expanding his streetwear empire.
On Saturday, Ronnie Fieg, founder and owner of Kith, will unveil a newly expanded, 4,000-square-foot store at Broadway and Bleecker streets in SoHo. The store takes 3,000 square feet of real estate from Atrium, a retail store owned by Sam Ben-Avraham. Ben-Avraham is a partner in Kith, although he declined to provide details on the size of his stake.
For the past several years, Kith had operated a 1,000-square-foot shop, located at the back of the Atrium store, that sold primarily footwear, but this expansion will allow Fieg to accommodate the brand’s ever-growing apparel business.
Fieg said the decision to take over a large section of the Atrium store was a “mutual decision” between himself and Ben-Avraham and stressed that Kith’s apparel items will not cross over with Atrium’s.
“They will totally be two different stores for two different customers,” he said.
“Atrium and Kith are not competitors in that our merchandise is quite different,” echoed Ben-Avraham. “In fact, having Kith next to Atrium completes the men’s shopping experience. Kith focuses on street and athletic footwear, whereas Atrium is taking the direction of modern men’s wear.”
Ben-Avraham also said he wanted Atrium to have a “more intimate boutique shopping experience” and that the space provided to Kith formerly housed women’s, which Atrium has exited.
One year ago, Ben-Avraham sold his partnership stake in Atrium to Nick Wooster, who also was expected to serve as creative director. That partnership lasted less than three months.
Kith, which opened as a sneaker store within Atrium in 2011, launched apparel two years later and, since then, has positioned itself as a full lifestyle brand. The brand has collaborated on special apparel offerings with retailers, including Dover Street Market, and plans to continue to do so with others. Fieg said wholesale distribution of the collection, however, will be offered to only five stores: Dover Street Market, Colette, United Arrows, Nano Universe and, in Italy, Slam Jam.
“There’s been so much interest in our apparel, and the demand has grown a lot since its inception,” said Fieg. “But we want to keep it small and exclusive and have people feel special when they buy our clothes, so we won’t be wholesaling anywhere else.”
The newly expanded Kith store will carry men’s apparel brands, such as Off White, Isaora, Stampd, Norse Projects, Nike Sportswear, Y-3 and Acronym, and will introduce the Japanese label Ones Stroke, with which Kith expects to collaborate on a few apparel items in the near future. Prices for apparel items will range from $60 for fashion T-shirts to $600 for outerwear.
The store is separated into three sections: one for Kith’s classic items, such as joggers, sweaters, outerwear, underwear, chocolate and even lip balm; another that features mannequins in glass displays, and a special space created to showcase collaborations.
“When you come into the shop, we want to literally satisfy every and all needs,” Fieg said. “So, we’ll have everything from pencils, kits, notebooks [and] pins, and the lip balm will even come in four flavors.”
The store’s architecture and design were created in conjunction with Brooklyn-based Snarkitecture, founded by Daniel Arsham and Alex Mustonen.
At the front of the store will be a hanging display of 440 original, coated Jordan 1’s from 1985. A back wall will be filled with Kith-branded pencils and create a wave pattern. The colors for the store will be matte black and white with a mixture of corian in the millwork.
On Saturday, in conjunction with Adidas, Kith will launch with a sneaker collaboration to commemorate Sept. 11. The shoe, which will be called the Ronnie Fieg x Adidas Consortium EQT ’93 Support, will be based on the New York City Police Department’s uniform. The shoe, which will include woven Kevlar, high-grade leathers in navy and a shield on its tongue, will retail for $170. Up to $15,000 of the sales from the collaboration will go to the September 11 Memorial and Museum Foundation. Along with the shoe, Kith will offer a few limited-edition apparel items, ranging from $45 for a hat to $165 for a jacket.
“It’s a mourning period, and that’s why we decided to drop it exactly one month after 9-11,” Fieg explained.
As for future expansion, Fieg said he would like to open a store in California next year, although he would not confirm the city.