10 years in any business is quite the accomplishment. Doing so in the hostile retail world of sneakers and streetwear is even more impressive. Of course being situated on the most exotic state that is part of the USA certainly helps. KICKS/HI aka Kicks Hawaii is commemorating a decade of supporting #sneakerholics in the 808 area code and all around the globe by providing a great sneaker experience to all their patrons. Working with many brands over the past 10 years, they are probably most recognized for their collaborative work with Nike on their own take of the Dunk Low.
The KICKS/HI Dunk Low was part of a series of sneakers from the minds of a select influential shops to help build up Nike’s brand image. Designed by KICKS/HI co-founder Ian Ginoza, the sneaker was built as a reflection of Hawaii’s natural environment. This translated directly into the colors seen on the shoe, Baroque Brown, Khaki and Mean Green. The color placement was an easy part of the design process in comparison to the addition of the Hawaiian weave, Lauhala, onto the side panel. But the most noticeable additions to the sneaker is the removal of the Nike branding on the heel and tongue, replaced by “ALOHA” and “HAWAII” respectively.
Since early on the color Green has been one that has stuck to the KICKS/HI brand but the color Orange was soon showing up just as often. Both colors are seen in small portions in their rendition of the Vans Half Cab. This sneaker was created in conjunction with fellow shop/brand’s HUF and DQM as a part of the “3 Feet High” pack. The Kicks Hawaii version was the most toned down rendition of the three sneakers.
The year 2009 was a special one for KICKS/HI as they joined up with Reebok to create not one but two versions of the Reverse Jam. Once again Green and Orange were the center of attention, both colors featured on separately. Special details of this collaborative efforts included spotted laces, multi-speckled midsoles along with YKWWS stitched onto the rear, the abbreviation for their slogan “You Know Where We Stay.”
In early 2011, we saw the KICKS/HI family once again working with Reebok on yet another special sneaker. This time the Court Victory Pump was seen in a new rendition from the minds of the Hawaiian brand. Beige on the upper, the shoe was accented with slight Green accenting along with White to complete its look. Speckling on the midsole and the brand’s name stitched in script onto the heel completed this surprise release.