Born in Chicago, Williams grew up in Pismo Beach, in the midst of California skate culture. His first gig in fashion was a summer internship with a soccer coach who owned a clothing brand, but Williams never pursued formal design training.
His transition to high fashion started in Hollywood, with an impressive number of celebrity collaborations. After striking a connection with Lady Gaga on a night out in Los Angeles in 2008, he became the creative director of the star’s creative team, known as Haus of Gaga, designing some of her most iconic looks. Through Gaga, he met more industry titans including Hedi Slimane, Nicola Formichetti, and British photographer Nick Knight, who was behind the camera for Williams’ breakout campaign for Givenchy.