Having just unveiled his forthcoming collaboration with the New York Yankees in conjunction with New Era (seen here), we had the opportunity to ask KITH Founder Ronnie Fieg about this weekend’s special release. Ronnie details both his love affair with the Yankees and the city of New York saying, “To the city, the Yankees logo is so iconic, and it means a lot more than just a team. It represents where we’re from, which is the greatest city in the world. The Yankees are the team that deserves to wear the initials for our city.” The budding designer goes on to talk about working with both storied brands, the signifcance of the 1996 World Series patch, his favorite Yankee and more below.
For those of you interested in purchasing the limited edition KITH x New York Yankees New Era “World Series” Cap, click here for details.
How did this collaboration come about, and how long was it in the works?
I’ve always wanted to work on a Yankees program because the longest living staple in my closet is a Yankees fitted. When thinking about what the first New Era fitted would be for a KITH collaboration, it’s the only idea that really made sense to me.
It’s been in the works for a year and a half. It took a lot of time just breaking down walls and getting the project green lit. But once New Era, the Yankees, and the MLB approved it, the next stages were figuring out how we would launch it. Over the course of a year and a half, the project evolved a lot from what it was originally. Ideas like the pop-up shop in Yankee Stadium materialized later on.
What is the significance of the Yankees to you personally? What about to New York City as a whole?
The team name “Yankees” means a lot more than a Major League Baseball team. It represents class, winning and being an icon. Growing up and watching the modern Yankees organization become a dynasty, and seeing the way the players carried themselves, they were more than just an inspiration. They were legends.
To the city, the Yankees logo is so iconic, and it means a lot more than just a team. It represents where we’re from, which is the greatest city in the world. The Yankees are the team that deserves to wear the initials for our city.
How does the year 1996 inform these hats? What’s the importance of that year and season?
1996 was an important year for the city. It was also the most influential year in my life, which you can see throughout our collections, especially our New York Natives collections. Paying homage to that year is something we’ve been doing for the past three years. Also, I feel like that was one of the great World Series wins ever for the Yankees. I remember being at that parade after they won. It was an amazing time for the city and for the sports fans that reside within the five boroughs. So using the 1996 World Series patch was only right.
How did KITH manage to gather such an iconic collection of native New Yorkers for this project?
The people I gathered to be part of this are those who I think represent the city similarly to the way the brand represents the city. Those who were shot for this project have become good friends of mine, and have become an extended family of the brand. They embody our “Just Us” motto, and the whole idea of how this city stays winning.
What defines a New Yorker to you?
Resiliency. The power to compete.
Who is your favorite Yankee of all time?
Derek Jeter. Hands down. The way he carried himself throughout his career made him the perfect role model for any kid growing up. He was the one. He was the consistent player you could always count on to give you what you need and to keep you competitive in every game. Truly a class act.