With its beautiful waterfalls and picture perfect beaches, Honolulu, Hawaii is already a paradise, but Ian Ginoza wanted to take paradise to the next level by adding a bit of style in the form of Kicks Hawaii, the premier sneaker and streetwear boutique.
Already getting worldwide attention for some of the hottest collaborations, Ian’s success has lead to the opening of a second Kicks store in Hawaii and Saint Alfred in Chicago. Saint Alfred’s legacy has become widely recognized in just a few years. You must be doing something right when kids spend more time in your store than on the beach! Aloha!
Get us up to date on what you were doing prior to opening your first store in 2001.
Prior to 2001, I was the art director for IPath Footwear and Apparel. Prior to that, I was the art director for Venture Trucks in San Francisco.
How would you describe Hawaii’s sneaker scene?
Alive and well. Vans is killing them out there.
Name: Ian Masaki Ginoza
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
[www.kickshawaii.com | www.livebittersweet.com | www.stalfred.com]
You’re probably sick of talking about it, but the “Aloha” Nike Dunk is one of the most instantly recognizable color schemes. Whose idea was it, and how awesome was the release?
It has definitely been replicated more than once. In fact, I just saw a new Nike Dunk coming out for fall or spring ’08 that looks exactly like it, but minus the weave side panel that we developed with Nike. Nike also used the weave for countless other shoes; it was used on their women’s Sports Exotica line. IPath released a Karl Watson shoe that is a straight replica of the “Aloha” Dunk. The idea came from Hawaii’s aina with aina being the land—brown for the earth, green for the plants and sand for the actual sand. The release was more than great; it was the fastest selling shoe of that year.
Leaving the island, you recently opened Saint Alfred in 2005. What made you choose Chicago, and were you prepared for how successful the store has become?
We were constantly mail ordering stuff to my boy in Chicago, and he kept telling me that there wasn’t sh*t out there. So I flew out there just to kick it and ended up falling in love with Chicago—the food, people, music and whole scene. The streetwear market was alive and well before we even got there, but they just weren’t being serviced properly. Saint Alfred came along and filled the void. The support for the brand has been amazing. Chicago peeps got style and a swagger like no other.