Your aesthetic tells your story. Many aspects of who we are can be hinted at based on what we wear and show the world- from new haircuts to jackets to piercings. But how often do we intentionally use our outward appearance to tell a story? One Chicago-based sneakerhead is doing just that through her love for sneakers and uplifting Black women.
Created by Kristina Williams, a Dartmouth College graduate and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated., K.Will Kustomz is an up and coming online sneaker company based that customizes sneakers for clients. “I’m a sneakerhead that really wanted to do shoes my way,” says Williams. The idea for K.Will Kustomz came when Williams had customized her own Air Force Ones and received multiple compliments on them. “After receiving such great compliments and feedback, that’s when I really decided to go for it,” Williams remarks.
But simply customizing sneakers was not Williams’ only goal. “I wanted to customized shoes that would go with my AKA para[phernalia] because I never really had any sneakers to go with my outfits,” Williams remembers. Beyond aesthetics, Williams looks to empower Black women through her brand. “K.Will Kustomz is for Black women, by Black women,” Williams proudly notes. The company hopes to stand out in a shoe culture dominated by males. Williams believes that shoes tell a story and Black women have so many stories to tell. In essence, shoes can be a platform for many women to tell their stories through what they wear.
Images: K.Will Kustomz
“I want to be more than a sneaker company,” says Williams. One of her goals for the company is for it to be community-based and educate Black youth about capitalism. Williams hopes to gain enough steam to hold events for intellectual stimulation and also provide a safe space for Black women to be social and learn from each other.
“At the end of the day, I’m a Black woman trying to make more spaces for all Black women through shoes and challenging people intellectually.”