Former Complex reporter and Sporty & Rich founder Emily Oberg has let it be known she is taking on a lead creative position with burgeoning brand and retailer Kith. Oberg caused a big stir when she announced she was stepping down from her role as a Complex producer and on-air reporter in January.
Expanding rapidly, Kith now includes five brick and mortar locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Miami, plus a permanent pop-up in Bergdorf Goodman. Over the holiday, Kith also operated a pop-up in Aspen. Owner and founder Ronnie Fieg added a women’s line and stand-alone women’s location across from his flagship Manhattan location in 2015.
“My biggest obstacle when I started the women’s line was that it doesn’t feel authentic for me to really go out on social and be the voice behind the women’s brand,” Fieg said in an interview with Business of Fashion. “I feel like the women’s side needs a voice and direction from somebody who will be wearing the product. We think that Emily represents the youth and has her finger on the pulse. She has great taste and I think she fits our aesthetic and where we’re going as a brand.”
Fieg noted that expanding to Miami opened his eyes to the potential of the women’s business. “This year, we’re planning on extending the space for women. And with our move to Miami, we’re seeing a really big demand for our women’s products. We’ve already had a good amount of demand, but now being in Miami and what we’re going to do in New York in the near future, there’s a real opportunity for our brand to expand
In addition to her role at Complex, Oberg also launched her own streetwear brand, Sporty & Rich, whose offerings included t-shirts, sweatshirts and dad hats. The line was successful enough that Forever 21 was inspired to offer a copycat version called called Smart & Pretty, a move that caused a big stir within the streetwear community when online personality Chantal Jeffries was spotted in the Forever 21 version in October of last year.
Oberg also released a Sprty & Rich print magazine in May and said a follow up issue is in the works. Known for her focus on fitness, Oberg started a “Get Sweaty” workout video series while at Complex that she will continue independently.
Oberg described her new position at Kith as her dream job, one where she will be able to “really create something and have an influence and say in this industry.” Her association with Kith isn’t brand new. She was featured wearing the women’s brand in a lookbook for holiday 2016 (shown above).
With more than 200,000 followers on Instagram, Oberg is oftened described as a powerful influencer, though she is not a fan of the term. “I hate that word,” said Oberg. “I think it’s become so tacky and it’s just some kind of thing where there’s people with large followings but they don’t actually do anything or possess any skill or real talent.”
Oberg’s goal as a creative sounds simple enough, but at the same time it reflects her understanding of what is meaningful within the streetwewar community. “I hope that it’s so good that the men want it,” she says.