Last week, Kith founder Ronnie Fieg made a pretty big announcement aimed directly at the female fans of his growing streetwear empire. Just weeks after stepping down from her post as one of Complex’s lead news anchors, streetwear maven Emily Oberg has been selected to serve as the creative lead for Kith Women.
You may remember seeing Emily from a spread back in November when she was the face of Kith's Black Friday Capsule Collection. Then again, you may simply know Emily as one of Complex.com's most familiar faces. Oberg joined Complex in 2014 as an editorial producer and news anchor, positions she held until her January departure.
She’s also the owner of Sporty & Rich, a lifestyle brand founded in 2014, which provides crafted apparel and recently expanded into a magazine. For all intents and purposes, Oberg is a certified "influencer." Though a tag she (and us, for that matter) hate, the sentiment is true. Oberg's personal style makes waves and amasses significant attention.
Launched in December 2015, Kith Women includes a womenswear line that plays upon many of the themes seen in the brand’s popular menswear label. It also has its own NYC location at 64 Bleecker St. boasting hard-to-find women’s footwear. But, for Kith, Emily Oberg ups the ante for 2017. How? Three significant reasons:
1. Ronnie's not a woman.
Stating the obvious, but it's true. Even Ronnie agrees.
“My biggest obstacle when I started the women’s line was that it doesn’t feel authentic for me to really go out on social and be the voice behind the women’s brand,” Fieg said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “I feel like the women's side needs a voice and direction from somebody who will be wearing the product. We think that Emily represents the youth and has her finger on the pulse…she has great taste and I think she fits our aesthetic and where we’re going as a brand.”
Oberg's natural appeal and her no-nonsense aesthetic is authentic, a value which is important to Kith, according to Fieg. Before Oberg's hiring, Fieg handled creative for both men's and women's lines. While he did amazing job on both, you could clearly see more attention to the men's sector Now, with Oberg helming the ladies ship, we'll probably see Kith Women expand it's inventory and it's message.
2. She's no stranger to high-end and streetwear
From a knack for design aesthetic (think her Sporty & Rich brand) to her own purchases, Emily seems to have a way with fusing high-end brands with lower end streetwear staples, including most sneakers.
"Emily has become a force and a personality in the industry because she represents exactly where streetwear is at in 2017,” explained Lawrence Schlossman, brand director at menswear resale site Grailed (and a former Complex staffer). "Streetwear a couple of years ago, maybe even as recently as three or four years ago, was this thing that high fashion wouldn’t touch. Now, these two kind of disparate worlds are overlapping now more than ever. Emily has an innate understanding of that aesthetic: how a pair of Nike Airmaxes can be worn with a Céline coat and a Chanel bag."
Kith, as we saw in their first NYFW presentation, is all about walking that line between affordability and high-fashion streetwear. Lucky for us ladies, Kith may have found a woman who understands that line and will help create pieces designed specifically for us.
3. She's Done This Before
All arguments aside, Oberg’s influence is hardly up for debate. This past spring, she made headlines when her Sporty & Rich design was jack moved by Forever 21. In addition to Sporty & Rich, another important aspect of Oberg’s brand is her penchant for fitness and thus, activewear. The perfect pairing for our streetwear obsession — in many cases, is a good legging, awesome sweats, breatheable mesh, and all cropped everything. From a successful Complex video series "Get Sweaty," in which she works out with celebrities such as Erykah Badu and DJ Khaled to her knack for making us want all the sports bras on her Instagram, Emily gets the athleisure wave and she's a pro at riding it. For Kith, who have a number of athletic wear partnerships, this opens their stores to whole new stream of revenue and, hopefully, the love of a faithful (and lucrative) athleisure market.
Many congrats to Emily Oberg on this awesome appointment. We can't wait to see what the Spring has in store for Kith Women!