Just in time for the tail end of summer, Kith has joined forces with Coca-Cola for a new run of collaborative gear. This is the second time the two brands have worked together: The first round hit right before the end of 2016 with a small drop of winter-friendly apparel and accessories, but this iteration is a whole lot bigger—and it’s all about sunshine and sand.
The Hamptons serve as the backdrop for the new lookbook, and key pieces include summer essentials like shorts, swim trunks, slides, beach towels, and even a cooler that’s a three-way effort between Kith, Coke, and Yeti. Of course, seeing as fall is right around the corner, there are also Kith staples like sweatshirts, tees, and a rugby quarter-zip that takes ’90s throwback inspiration and brings it into 2017. Oh, and then there are the Converse ’70s All-Stars with a giant embroidered “Coca-Cola” script running across the heel. Suffice to say, there’s no shortage of options.
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We caught up with Kith founder and CEO Ronnie Fieg, as well as Coca-Cola Company brand director Evan Holod, to discuss how it all came together.
On the second round of collaboration:
Ronnie Fieg: Kith is always changing, growing, and innovating. So when we do these collaborations we always find ourselves in a new place with the brand, so it’s interesting to see how we’re able to reinterpret previous partnerships as we continue to evolve. It was important to me to show that Coke is far from one-sided and to tell a new story with them. Whereas our last project was heavily themed around winter, this collection is set in the summertime, therefore showing how relevant the brand is across any season. Lastly, at this stage in Kith’s timeline we do not like to do one-offs. Coca-Cola is a long term partner for us, and we’ll continue to tell more impactful stories in the future.
Evan Holod: When we were introduced to Ronnie, it was a no-brainer. The name he’s chosen to represent his brand, Kith [as in “kith and kin”], is literally a perfect fit with Coca-Cola, which has brought people together for more than 100 years. Ronnie has become more than just a partner, he’s become part of the family.
On balancing different perspectives:
RF: We work with a lot of different partners, so there isn’t necessarily a single mold they all have to fit in. Last year we worked with Adidas, Timberland, Power Rangers, Rugrats, Cap’n Crunch, and more. It’s definitely an unusual mix, but the thing that keeps them all connected and cohesive is us. All of our partnerships must be authentic to our brand and to what we represent. I have an emotional connection to the brands I choose to work with. Whether they are nostalgic to me because I loved them growing up, or they’re someone I admire or have product I admire. The reasons are widespread, but the core motivation is authenticity.
On reworking the iconic Coca-Cola logo:
EH: There have only been a few occasions in our history when we’ve had a partnership come to life in the way the Kith x Coca-Cola collection has. But the idea of Coca-Cola working with icons of pop-culture is nothing new. From the first Norman Rockwell collaboration to Andy Warhol and his famous Coke bottle paintings, Coca-Cola has always been a part of pop-culture and a favorite for artists. We love partnering with people like Ronnie who have a real love and passion for Coca-Cola, who make it a part of their lives, and who live the brand like we do each and every day. Every generation has its artists who take Coca-Cola and find new ways to build and co-create off of it–who bring Coca-Cola to people in ways they have never seen it before.
On the significance of one particular design:
RF: The quarter-zip rugby is a personal favorite. I remember people wearing the classic Coca-Cola rugby in the mid-1980s, so being able to flip that into a piece that I’d want to wear today was a lot of fun. It’s also sentimental to me, because Tommy Hilfiger designed the original rugby in 1986, and he is someone I look up to who has also become a dear friend of mine. So being able to pick up where he left off and carry the torch into the present day is a big deal for me.