Dress Code’ is VIBE’s fashion and style series, where were we test drive rising brands from an every day life point of view.
Footwear Designer: Marvin Williams
Happy Customers: Zendaya, Sasha Obama, Ray J
On K-Swiss’ Humble Beginnings: A passion for tennis and execution of an idea by two ambitious entrepreneurs were the driving force behind the creation of K-Swiss. K-Swiss is an American heritage tennis brand founded in 1966 by the Brunne brothers. Art and Ernie Brunne developed an affinity for tennis and its culture after relocating from Switzerland to California, which became home base for the K-Swiss brand.
On The Design Process: Apart from the DNA of the brand, which derives from tennis culture on-and-off the court—the five strips and the shield—the muse and inspiration comes from the versatile, ever changing yet prepared lifestyle of a young entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you should, “Dress like you made it”, and it’s really a mindset that translates to your appearance and attitude. If you remain prepared for any situation or opportunity, you won’t have to get ready. K-Swiss aims to dress the next generation of multifaceted leaders, hustlers, creators, and CEO’s—basically the new age entrepreneurs and those individuals who are determined and crazy enough to pilot their own career. Our designs really mirror this look and feel.
Their Uniqueness In The Marketplace: The rich heritage of the brand and nostalgia of the 90’s. The tennis lifestyle is a major theme and inspiration of the K-Swiss brand, including the crispness, dedication, and quality often exhibited by those who play the sport. K-Swiss taps into the mindset of champions, individuals, and competitors. We recently hit the 50-year milestone and with that longevity comes a rich culture of detail and simplicity.
How The Designer Wears K-Swiss: The brand is like a blank canvas, your unique style plays as much of a roll as the product. I normally wear the Court styles with a clean look: joggers, harem or nautical shorts, and a graphic tee shirt or patterned button-up. Depending on the occasion I may dress the look up with a blazer or bomber jacket. I mostly combine the look with neutral tones of white, nudes, or all black.
Favorite Item In Current Collection: Some of my favorite pieces are their Court style sneakers, like the Washburn or the Hoke 50th, which is part of K-Swiss’ 50th anniversary collection this year. I’m also really excited on our Modern Court collection, which includes really clean and luxe footwear made in Portugal. I’ve been wearing it around ahead of time but it’s coming out this fall. All of these styles are my staples for a clean, minimalistic look for everyday wear. They’re sporty chic and for me, the more lived-in they are, the better.
Ashley Monaé, Writer:
Living in the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle known as New York City, I’ve learned how to combine fashion and functionality, which K-Swiss has truly mastered with their clean cut silhouettes. From a toddler to my teenage years, K-Swiss has proved to be a legacy brand with the undeniable ability to stay true to their crisp, trendsetting aesthetic but reinvent themselves, adapting to the times and the eclectic trends occurring in the marketplace without losing their voice and vision.
Celebrating the brand’s 50th anniversary, I decided to keep things classic with their Classic 66 USA model. Although presented as a men’s sneaker, I simply sized down by two and paired them with contrasting all-black fit to make its details such as the D-rings and unique three-piece toe design stand out from the plethora of head turning kicks that hit New York City’s pavement. Seriously, there’s something about a clean white sneaker that will never go out of style. Ever.
Stacy-Ann Ellis, Assistant Editor:
At the top of the year, I made a promise to myself to put in a little extra effort in how I dress. Do the girly heels-and-makeup thing more often than not, because why not. I’d like to say I’ve been making slight headway, but when it all boils down, all my loyalty goes to comfy footwear. K-Swiss’ HOKE 50th is looking like a swift go-to when I’m not feeling up to the dolled up look, but still want to look super crisp.
Not only is it one of their classics by design, enhanced by intricate gold details and a crest on the tongue, but it’s all around comfy. K-Swiss sometimes warrants a funny reaction from the millennial crowd, but the sleek silhouette and icy white look in the brand’s 50th year is sure to sway some minds in their direction.