Interview: Raquel Vieira / Portrait: Roger Ferrero
Stevie Williams cut his teeth on the mean streets of Philly, hitting iconic skate spots like Love Park. A true child of the grimy 90s scene, Stevie and his Dirty Ghetto Kids crew embraced skateboarding, music, fashion, freedom and everything fresh. Over the years he rose up to become not only one of the world’s most stylish pros, but also an entrepreneurial mogul with his company DGK Skateboards and his strong partnership with Supra.
After releasing the SW1 high top in 2012, Williams is back with the upscale Estaban model. We sat down with Stevie in Barcelona recently for a brief back and forth before his signature shoe is released in August.
What are the most important things that you’ve learned designing with Supra?
Supra is pretty innovative, we’re all about pioneering cool shoe designs for our eclectic team. Not to say that my shoe is eclectic, but the design and the quality is a good reflection of the brand.
There´s a big difference between your 2012 signature S1W model and your new Estaban from the Spectre Line.
Yeah, I think the S1W has a more retro type of feel. It’s a high top, something that I was skating in before. The Spectre line is more about styling and innovation. The Estaban shoe is designed to be something you can wear when you are not skating, but also has the durability to perform well when you do. I think the design represents where I’m at now. When I was younger, a lot of the shoe brands were experimenting with different lacing systems, so it was nice to revisit that idea. I feel that the lace system allows the wearer to be original and creative.
Do you believe that the aesthetic is equally important as the technical specifications?
Not all the time, people that don’t skate don’t care about tech specs. I think the shoe will hit home with a lot of people that don’t skate seriously but are into the lifestyle, kids that are out there skating but don’t really want to be a pro like myself. It’s definitely a good balance.
Why do you think Barcelona is still number one for many skaters around the world?
Well, MACBA (Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art) is my favourite spot to warm up. There’s a bunch of spots to skate in the city, but everybody goes to the MACBA because that’s where the culture’s at. The vibe reminds me of how I grew up skating, it’s like a reflection of my childhood over here. The city is just so liberal in general and that allows skaters to be skaters without having society looking down on them. Barcelona offers open arms to antisocial people.
As a businessman, do you think more about the performance of the sneaker or revenue?
Keeping an eye on sales performance isn’t really my job. But I do keep it in mind and that’s why I try to come up with the right shoe that serves both. In skateboarding now there aren’t really any popular core brands like there used to be, and outside of skateboarding there’s only a few popular skate brands in lifestyle. The reason I signed with Supra is because they have the ability to do both, like a hybrid brand. It takes the right shoe to represent both skateboarding and lifestyle. That’s what all this means to me, it is a representation of my lifestyle, which is streetwear, urban, skateboarding, fashion and music.
Any plans for the future?
My personal plan is to achieve my ultimate goal in life.
To be successful, to be a great father, a great friend, a great son, a great partner, living life, working hard and knock on my goals, that’s what I plan to do!