Kicks/HI, St Alfred and Bittersweet are some of the most famous names in Streetwear today, Ian Ginoza is one man behind all those names, and alongside the release of his newest Bittersweet collection, we took the chance to take a peak at the line and speak with Ian about all his projects and history.
How did you first become involved in Streetwear?
I first got involved with the streetwear market when we opened Kicks/HI in 2001.
And how did you end up in your current roles at St Alfred and Kicks/HI?
Prior to opening the doors I was the design director for Ipath footwear and Venture trucks living in SF. Huf and I would talk about opening sneaker doors and building a brand, I wanted to do it back in Hawaii and Huf was going to do it in SF,that was over 7 years ago now.
Explain the philosophy behind Bittersweet?
Bitter and sweet, such is my life. Not all good but Not all bad. Bittersweet is a direct communication of my interests, humor, mood all of that, from both sides of the spectrum. It is really the most personable entity that i am involved with, " Return to Original Life " a Bittersweet mantra, in the short get back to being you.
Also, the concept and philosophy behind Nimnim and where that name came from?
Nimnim is a new language from the planet of nim. That is all i can say on that at this time.
We often talk about geographical differences within Streetwear with particular reference to say, Japan Vs US, or Europe Vs US, being involved with 2 stores within the US but in very different areas how do you see the differences developing?
In chicago you really get the elements and the seasons, so the style is far different than Hawaii, Sweaters, Outerwear, etc. In hawaii 80 degrees and sunny all day everyday so a triple goose is rough to pull off. The climate is the biggest difference and influence between the two markets. As far as how the markets are developing kids in Hawaii are wearing just as tight pants as in chicago, there on par.
Both Kicks/HI and St Alfred have been involved in a number of exciting colabs with big name companies and artists of late, what have been some of your favourites?
The Sig Zane project with Converse for sure. But trust me we got more.
Theres been talk lately of the value placed on Colaborations, in your opinion what is a good philosophy behind a colab and what makes a good joint project?
From a marketing stand point it has been a home run for a number of companies, but its all in the concept and the execution, if the product is shit then all it is, is two entities coming together to take one big Crap. At the end of the day the product has to be dope. As far as a particular philosophy only one matters….To make a great product.
Do you have any thoughts on the way the internet has impacted on the culture in recent years, perhaps through the progress of Kicks/HI for example?
A more global platform. Being located in Hawaii we are physically located far away from any of the major market places, but with the internet Kicks/HI, Huf, DQM, Goodfoot, etc. are all right down the block, along with everything else party poker, Jugs, off shore banking, and more!
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