Kith founder Ronnie Fieg has been a longtime fan of British shoe company Clarks, expressing his love for the brand through a history of multiple collaborations which began more than a decade ago. Now, Clarks is giving the love back by launching a new line of footwear, in partnership with Fieg, called 8th St.
“Around two years ago I began having a conversation with the good people at Clarks and explaining how I envisioned them foraying into an unknown space that sits between brown shoes and athletic footwear,” he wrote on his Instagram feed to announce the offshoot. “Clarks has been one of my favorite brands my entire life and I’ve always admired their attention to detail for quality.”
Fieg explained the history behind his line’s name in his interview with Footwear News. “8th Street is where it all started for me. If you ask anyone over the age of 35 who lived in [the five boroughs of New York City], that was the epicenter of footwear in New York, maybe even the world,” told the webzine. “…The people who were shopping on 8th Street back then was a mix, it was a melting pot of different nationalities and styles and groups of people, and it was really inspiring.”
The Queens, NY-born sneakerhead is well-known for how he imparts his own unique flair on other brands’ athletic shoes, like the Ronnie Fieg x BAPE “Fiegstas” or the eye-catching Kith x Nike LeBron XV “Long Live the King” Collection. But this time around, 8th Street will operate as its own sublabel under the Clarks umbrella. “As Category Creator, I will be introducing original silhouettes of my design executed with the pinnacle craftsmanship of Clarks Originals,” he shared.
One day earlier, Fieg posted the photo of one of the first releases from 8th St to social media, the Lockhill. The new low tops appear to borrow from the spirit of Clarks’ “Tor Run” and sport a mix of red, tan, and dark aquamarine suedes for the upper. The outsole is a tad chunkier than that of the sneaker that inspired it, however, and the leather hang tag bears Fieg’s surname instead.
The second of 8th St’s releases will be called the Sandford, and two new silhouettes can be expected to come each season per Fieg’s arrangement with Clarks. The Lockhill and the Sandford will reportedly sell for $220 and will be available via Kith’s stores and online site starting April 16.
But stay tuned because “[t]here’s more to this story which I’m excited to share in time,” Fieg hints in conclusion on IG. “Thank you to the team at Clarks for trusting me with this incredible honor. 8th St by Ronnie Fieg for Clarks Originals coming soon…”