Distinct Life brand celebrates Juneteenth with new store and new sneaker

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Husband and wife duo Rick and Yolanda Williams – who became local celebrities when Rick, as the owner of Burn rubber, a sneaker store in Royal Oak, has been featured in an online reality TV series – now opening their own store in Detroit.

The store, which opens on Saturday, coinciding with the Detroit Juneteenth celebrations, is an offshoot of the Williamses Separate life business, a creative agency founded in 2010 by the Southfield couple, which helps develop brands in many artistic fields such as music, shoe design, artwork, and more.

The couple who over the years have partnered with Comedy Central, Beats by Dre, Puma, Adidas, Reebok and New Balance, are also launching a new line of sneakers.

DISTINCT LIFE founder Rick Williams and his wife Yolanda Williams speak at the artist talk and album listening party for THE geezyTH Experiment (TgE) which he recorded with beats provided and collaborations from some of Detroit's hip-hop legends, sound engineers and producers at Spot Lite in Detroit on June 14, 2021. Williams, who goes by geezyTH, created the album featuring his freestyle tap dancing on the instrumentals.  The event also coincided with his Puma collection and a series of fine art prints that accompanied the album.

The launch party for the shoes featuring their Distinct Life X Inspire Puma collection is one day before the store officially opens and is a continuation of their Burn Rubber days.

“Rubber Detroit”, a weekly reality show produced by Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, appeared on YouTube in 2013 and starred Rick Williams and his then-partner Roland Colt as they developed their sneaker business after the Great Recession.

The store opening and sneaker launch party are part of a series of events taking place during what the couple are calling Inspire Week, which will also include an evening of skating.

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“We’re using this whole weekend to really celebrate multiple things at once,” said Yolanda Williams, 38, who added that they chose to host a celebration because the Detroiters went through a lot during the season. pandemic.

“It’s almost like it’s a family reunion at the shoe release. Lots of things have happened. People have lost loved ones, jobs and businesses have closed, “she said.” We celebrate that we are still resilient and still here. “

DISTINCT LIFE founder Rick Williams hugs Detroit hip-hop artist Phat Kat ahead of the artist and album listening party for THE geezyTH Experiment (TgE) that Williams recorded with provided beats and collaborations from some of Detroit's hip-hop legends, sound engineers and producers at Spot Lite in Detroit on June 14, 2021. Williams, who goes by geezyTH, created the album featuring his freestyle tap dancing on the instrumentals.  The event also coincided with his Puma collection and a series of fine art prints that accompanied the album.

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In addition to the store at the St. Regis Detroit Hotel, the couple also furnished room 618, the Distinct Life Suite. The couple will use the space for happy hours, educational events and design seminars.

“We think this is a great opportunity for us to build,” said Rick Williams. “(The hotel is) going up and we can come in and bring an authentic touch to the culture of this hotel because of who we are and what we do in the community.”

DJ DeZ Andres turns Detroit hip-hop on before DISTINCT LIFE founder Rick Williams and his wife Yolanda Williams speak at the artist's conference and album listening party for THE geezyTH Experiment (TgE) which he recorded with provided beats and collaborations from some of Detroit's hip-hop legends, sound engineers and producers at Spot Lite in Detroit on Monday, June 14, 2021. Williams, who goes by his name geezyTH, created the album featuring his freestyle tap dancing on the instrumentals.  The event also coincided with his Puma collection and a series of fine art prints that accompanied the album.

Inspire Week’s first event, an evening of album listening and artist talk, took place Monday at Spot Lite Detroit. He was presenting “THE geezyTH EXPERIMENT”, an album produced by Rick Williams, whose stage name is geezyTH. On the album, Williams can be heard tap dancing, bringing a unique percussion sound to the music presented with the help of Detroit sound engineers and hip-hop producers Earlly Mac, DJ Dez, Fat Ray, Guilty Simpson, Mama Sol and more.

“These are the people who do things in our city and make music nationally and internationally,” said Rick Williams. “It was just an opportunity for us with the same minds to come together and do something. We weren’t even planning on doing it, but when it was put in place, we just added it to the campaign because we believe it is a unique project that celebrates our creativity.

DISTINCT LIFE founder Rick Williams performs freestyle tap dancing in front of a series of artwork on each track at the artist talk and album listening party live for THE geezyTH Experiment (TgE) which he recorded with provided beats and collaborations from some of Detroit's hip-hop legends, sound engineers and producers at Spot Lite in Detroit on June 14, 2021. Williams, who goes by geezyTH, created the album highlighting his freestyle tap dancing on the instrumentals.  The event also coincided with his Puma collection and a series of fine art prints that accompanied the album.

A series of colorful fine art prints were released in sync with the album. Each print can be purchased for $ 100, and there are 15 prints in total. There is a QR code on each print that will direct people to the album.

Events Thursday through Saturday will also feature Distinct Life merchandise for sale. To attend one of the events, RSVP on the distinctlife.com website.

Here are the details of the event:

  • Adult skating evening: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Northland Skating Rink, 22311 W. Eight Mile Road, Detroit.
  • Shoe outlet and party: 1 to 8 p.m. Friday at Footlocker Detroit, 17755 E. Eight Mile Road, Eastpointe. The sneakers will go on sale for $ 85. The party will also feature food from black-owned restaurants, a lobster food truck, a pop-a-shot basketball tournament, table tennis, giveaways, a DJ and more.
  • Inauguration of the Distinct Life store: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday inside the St. Regis Detroit Hotel at 3071 E. Grand Blvd. In addition to the brand’s products, the store will carry the family’s skin care line called CREAM Blends, which includes body butters, body oils, soaps and candles.

Contact writer Chanel Stitt on Twitter: @ByChanelStitt. Become a subscriber or offer a subscription.

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