Now one of the greatest skateboarders of all time and the founder of Dirty Ghetto Kids, Stevie Williams began his career at 15 after running away from home to hitchhike from Philadelphia to San Francisco. Finding himself homeless, Williams did whatever he had to to gain sponsors and get him to where he is today. He shows VICE Sports where and how he went from “degenerate to celebrity.”
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At the age of 12 years, Williams and his group of friends met Jeff Pang, a skater who was with the Element brand at the time. Williams asked Pang how he could become an Element team member and subsequently filmed a video part for the 1994 Element video Fine Artists Vol. 1, in which he was named “Lil’ Stevie”. Williams’s part was filmed entirely in Philadelphia.
After appearing in the 1999 Zoo York promotional video, Heads, Williams joined both the Chocolate Skateboards team and the DC Shoes team during the same year. Williams filmed a full part that appeared in the 1999 Chocolate Tourvideo and released a signature model shoe with DC in 2000. Williams appeared in the 2003 DC Shoes video The DC Video prior to commencing his own company with the assistance of his business partner, Eli Sotto, who had collaborated with Williams on the Gold Wheels brand. The pair eventually formed the distribution company Kayo Corp with Troy Morgan, and released the first Kayo promotional video in 2004. Following the 13-minute promotional video, Kayo then released It’s Official in 2006, in which the four key brands of the company were introduced in video form: DGK, Organika, Expedition and Gold.
Williams received sponsorship from Casio’s G-Shock brand around 2009 and has released two signature watches with the company. In a 2012 promotional video Williams explained his decision to represent G-Shock: “The reason I identify with G-Shock? The toughness, the street credibility, the colorways, the ethics, and the legacy is, is definitely what I would want to be in my brain when I think of G-Shock—complements everything I’ve done in my career.” Williams represented the G-Shock brand in January 2013, visiting Berlin, Germany as an ambassador during the brand’s thirtieth anniversary celebration, whereby it opened a “pop-up” store in the European city.
Williams is the founder and co-owner of Dirty Ghetto Kids (DGK) skateboards, an American skateboard company.The brand is distributed by the Kayo Corp company, a partnership that was established through Williams’ friendship with Troy Morgan from Kayo. Stevie is even a featured skater in Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Project 8, Proving Ground, Ride and Shred video games.