Ronnie Fieg has been providing us with some of the most limited must have footwear of our time. His collaborations with Converse, Asics and Sebago to just mention a few have become instant classics. During his SEBAGO capsule release tour he stopped in Miami were we caught up with him.
RF has been trusted to work with some of the oldest footwear companies in the industry. He has successfully worked with classic silhouettes and made them better. Enjoy our conversation. Word!
WIT: Whats up Ronnie?
RF: Everything is good man!
WIT: Great to meet you!
RF: Great to meet you too!
WIT: You have been on a work war-path since the Nexus project: How does it feel?
RF: It feels great, you know? Certain people have drive. Ever since I got started, I just want to keep going… I don’t know how to rest. It’s been a nice ride. I’m appreciative of everyone who has been showing love. I’m just taking leaps… One at a time…
WIT: You have kept this project (which is huge) under wraps. I mean you just finished a Converse project, which is crazy! How did you manage to keep everything under wraps?
RF: It’s hard to keep things secret these days with photos and everyone wanting to get a piece of the information early, but basically I have to give all the credit to SEBAGO for keeping the information so tight.
Usually, if you’re a big publication you can tap into any brand and get information because they always want publicity. But they knew to keep everything under wraps. That’s a very important part of the strategy on how to release goods.
I really feel that if you release information or photos too early, people feel that they’ve had the shoe and they’re stale before they even come out….
So like you said, it was important to keep things tight. I’m just thankful that the company has been able to work with me in terms of keeping the information locked down…
WIT: What do you have to say for those people out there that think success comes without hard work?
RF: People have a misconception on how hard people have to work to reach a certain level. I’ve worked really, really hard in all aspects. Not strictly in the type of business that I’m in now, which is curating products, being able to design shoes and trying to come out with my own goods. I’ve worked hard from the bottom up.
Everything starts with knowledge and attempting to acquire more knowledge, you have to work your way up. To me this is the most important thing when trying to do your own thing or trying to get into a business…
There is a whole panoramic view of the business. You have to see all aspects. I think people want to reach A to Z without going through the alphabet and that usually doesn’t work. To be successful you have to put your time in.
You know, I just have to be thankful for all the opportunities I was given growing up being able to work at David Z. With David taking me in and really teaching me everything…
I really had to start from the bottom and that’s really how it should be done. Everyone has their own opinion on what to make and what to change; yet many haven’t had the experience on working with consumers like I have. I’ve been working as a general buyer for years. I’ve seen what it is that people like and what they purchase.
It has been a very important element in terms of what I am going to make for the market. These shoes are made for the people. I don’t make shoes for myself, so it’s very important to learn about the market before you try to get into something and that’s what I was able to do throughout my career…
WIT: How open have you been to change? How important is it to be open to change?
RF: How open am I to change? I’m very open to it. Being comfortable in a certain situation is what keeps you stagnate, but looking for change and accepting it, that’s what keeps things moving.
Nobody likes change in terms of career, but it is important to be open to it. You get very comfortable in a certain situation or position and you do anything to avoid getting out of your comfort zone, but it’s the people who embrace this change in their life that really flourish in their careers.
In terms of comfort, I’m always uncomfortable. I’m never comfortable with what I’m doing so it’s always on to the next one. Lets celebrate tonight for the launch of this piece or the fact that my site did very well over the weekend. This launch was successful so yeah, I’ll celebrate tonight but tomorrow it’s a new day and on to the next challenge!