Five Questions: Rick Williams


Rick Williams is c0-owner of Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique in Detroit and owner of Distinct Life. Rick is also an incredible photographer and has incorporated his work along with others’ into Trust the Shooter. He’s designed some of my all-time favorite collabs so I was lucky to catch up with him for the very first Five Questions.

1. We all have that one moment or pair that was an “aha!” moment in sneakers. What was yours and how would you describe it?

That defining moment came for me was when I was in middle school back in Milwaukee WI. My mom took me to go shopping for school shoes and when we walked into the store I saw the Nike Air Jordan 6 black/infrared color way. I had to have them! My mom grabbed them for me and the rest is history. As a result of this experience the black/infrared Jordan 6 has become my favorite shoe of all time.

2. If you had to choose only one sneaker to have – currently in your collection or not – what would it be and why?

If I had to choose one shoe it would probably be the Fragment Design x Nike All Court that released a few years ago in all black premium leather with the white bottom. I would choose this shoe because of the quality and versatility of the shoe. This is a shoe that I would be able to wear all of the time.

3. Who or what is your biggest and best design inspiration?

When I design I try to take inspiration from the things around me. I don’t really have any people that I look at for inspiration. For me it’s more about telling stories. Every project that I have been involved with tells some type of story. When people get a project that I have been involved with they are getting more than a shoe – they are getting something that celebrates some type of idea or thing.

4. Hypebeasts. Resellers. Sponsored posts. Influencers. Doing it for the Gram. What is your take on the current state of sneakers and social media?

I think that social media has come in and totally changed the game. We owe a lot of the success of Burn Rubber to the growth and development of our social media pages. We have been able to communicate directly with our followers instead of paying for an ad in a newspaper that might not ever be seen. Overall I think that the growth of social media has ultimately empowered the average person. It has provided people with opportunities that without social media they may have never seen.

5. In 30 years, people in the sneaker world will look back and say Rick Williams was….?

I’m not sure what people will say. If they say anything at all I hope that the stories and designs that I have been involved in are appreciated.

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