LeBron James and friends’ designer clothing brand UNKNWN to open in Akron

LeBron James and friends’ designer clothing brand UNKNWN to open in Akron

They’re bringing their talents from Miami back to Akron.

Jaron Kanfer and Frankie Walker, childhood friends of LeBron James and co-founders of the designer clothing brand and sneaker retailer UNKNWN alongside the NBA superstar, are opening up the doors to a new store in downtown Akron.

The founding trio grew up playing basketball together in Akron long before they launched the Miami-based retailer in 2011. It only made sense, they said, to bring the brand back to their hometown.

“I think the store here was a no-brainer for us. It was a vision Jaron and I had for a while,” Walker said. “Akron was more than deserving to have a retail experience you find in bigger cities.”

The new store at 199 S. Main St. will open to the public Saturday. In addition to its typical retail offerings, it will sell exclusive shoes for “sneakerheads” and collectors, including a global launch of the Nike LeBron 2 Retro “Maccabi” and a re-release of the Nike LeBron 19 “The Chosen One,” of which there will be only 500 pairs.

Nike will also be onsite Saturday to offer a free clothing customization booth with purchase.

On Sunday, Kanfer and Walker will host an open-to-the-public family and friends softball game featuring food trucks outside Summit Lake Community Center, a space they helped refurbish earlier this year.

UNKNWN co-founders  and Akron natives Frankie Walker and Jaron Kanfer first launched their designer clothing brand and sneaker retailer with childhood friend LeBron James in 2011. Now a store is coming to Akron.

The founders don’t want their influence to stop with just their store. They want a real stake in the community.

Philanthropy is a core tenet for the brand. In March, the group partnered with Nike to spruce up classrooms at the Summit Lake Community Center, donating new sports equipment, toiletries, coats and more for kids and other low-income residents in the area.