Kicks/HI & BitterSweet

- sneaker shop
- clothing brand

Ian Ginoza

1530 Makaloa St.
Honolulu, HI 96814


Interview. Ian Ginoza

Before we start: how did you get to Beinghunted?
I have always looked at the site and was introduced by a mutual friend.

What/where are your favourite hunting grounds on Hawaii or any other place in the world?
The beach. You can usually find me lurking around or near the ocean. There used to be a spot in San Francisco called Mcdonalds Books but on a recent trip I discovered that it had been torn. Very sad because Mcdonalds had been there for over 30 years. I loved that place.

Are you hunting for anything yourself - is there a collection that you 'need' to complete?
Good times. Hopefully that collection will never be completed.

Background, etc.

Where are you from, how did you ‘end up’ on Hawaii?
I was born and raised on the island of Oahu.

When and why did you decide to open up a sneaker store?
At the time I was living and in San Francisco doing creative direction and graphic design. Keith Hufnagel and I would talk about doing sneaker shops. He wanted to open in San Francisco and I went home to Hawaii, got
together with my partner Eddy and KICKS/HI opened it’s doors 2001.

You share the space with Leilow. How did you hook up with Jules?
Jules had moved to Hawaii a few years ago and while talking together we came to find out we had a lot of mutual folks. He wanted to a select shop called Leilow, I liked the name and concept he liked what I was doing so we came up with a plan and a plot and now we are partners.

Kicks/HI & Sneakers

What’s the philosophy behind the store?
A really great sneaker is a beautiful thing. I want bring in and sell great sneakers period..

What was/is the exciting part of sneakers for you?
Looking at my old sneakers and remembering how I got them jacked up,who I was running from or too or what I was doing at the time I was rocking those, It’s all about the memories. My old kicks
Bring back memories.

Do you have an anecdote about how you got a special pair of sneakers – how you had to hunt it down?
Nothing worth telling, ebay has made it a lot easier to find those rare joints.

Models that are15 years or older are very popular nowadays. Which current models (not retro) will be the classics in 15 years? What makes them special?
Right now I am really into the Mayfly, great design and material. There is so much you can do with that shoe as far as materials and patterns go. Another sure shot from Nike.

What are your top 10 sneakers at the moment?
* HTM wovens
* HTM air force 1
* Supreme dunk Hi’s
* Vans slip on’s
* Aloha Dunk
* Huf AM 1
* Mayfly
* Jordan 3
* Olympic Air Force 1
* Rubber flip flops

Nike Dunk Aloha/Hyperstrike

How did this project come about? Was it you or was it them?
We approached them.

If you could not have chosen the Dunk which other model would you have hyperstrike’d?
A Woven or Jordan 3.

How long did it take to have the finished shoe ready (final sample)? Were there any difficulties?
The whole process took over a year. There were a few difficulties due to the woven treatment but other than that not really.

Tell us about the inspiration for the shoe – colorway, material...
The colorways is a reflection of Hawaii’s natural enviorment and the weave is a traditional Hawaiian
Weave called lauhala.

How are your Hyperstrike pairs be distributed?
All hypers have been distributed or are in transit as we speak. They all went out to friends.

Finally – how did it feel to have you own shoe? Was this a dream come true for you? What’s the next
‘dream ?
It feels good to have the project finally completed. The Quickstrike should hit shops in next couple of months. As far as the next, it’s already rolling. Stay tuned...


What is your inspiration behind the line?
To find humor in all things and life’s extremities.

How would you describe the designs/styles?
Humorous and at times reserved.

Is there anyone you would like to team up with for BitterSweet?
Currently working with ANX and aNYthing from New york and of course Leilow.


What are your plans with Kicks/HI, BitterSweet – expansion, branching out, etc.?
We just opened our new location and as far as BitterSweet's future goes - I see a whole Superhero movement with big capes, colored tights and dumb big camo utility belts.

Are there any other projects that you are involved with that you can share with us?
Collaborations with HUF, ANX, aNYthing and a few I can’t discuss.


What are your activities besides work?
Surfing,body surfing, photography, and laughing all day long.

What are your 5 most beloved items?

* A light chicken gravy on a warm summer’s day.
* My handle bar mustache that I groom daily.
* My chica.
* My friends and family.
* The ability to blow out loud and rather obnoxious duck quacks.

Any comments/shouts/hints…?
Gerrardemy will take over the world or at least a small basement in the greater Honolulu area!

Who should we interview next?
Gerrard Secretario / Gerrardemy


Beinghunted says thanks for the interview and all the best!

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