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‘Pretty much went viral:’ Wearable art by Milwaukee startup catches attention of athletes, celebs

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Data pix.

Greg Hamilton

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee artist's work is taking off, one shoe at a time. His one-of-a-kind footwear has caught the eye of athletes in the Milwaukee area, and celebrities everywhere.

With a passion for sneakers and a small, "probably 11-by-11," bedroom, Greg Hamilton started a business.

"I'm pretty much of a sneakerhead. The orders kept coming," said Hamilton.

It all began when Hamilton wanted his own pair of Jordans.

"Every time they would come out, they would sell out, so I never got a chance to get my own pair," said Hamilton.

That didn't stop the Milwaukee native. He made his old sneakers new -- creating a one-of-a-kind pair no one else had.

Savage Customz

"It pretty much went viral. The clientele just started flowing in," said Hamilton.

Hamilton soon quit his job to create customized shoes full-time. He's the man behind the Milwaukee startup "Savage Customz."

"My inbox is full right now. My phone is on airplane mode," said Hamilton.

Savage Customz

As for the company's name?

"I was a bad kid, so they used to call me Savage," said Hamilton.

Greg Hamilton

You could call Hamilton a savage in a positive light when it comes to his art.

"Thanks to Savage Customz, I barely leave the house," said Hamilton.

With his artistic eye, he creates unique designs and prints for clients' shoes, inspired by what he learned from YouTube.

"They pretty much taught me the basics, and I just took it to new heights I guess," said Hamilton.

Hamilton has designed hundreds of shoes, learning something new every step of the way.

"The trials and errors of those 1,100 pairs -- that was the hardest part," said Hamilton.


Hamilton's flashy kicks have captured the attention of some big stars, including the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker and Waka Flocka Flame.

"'I never thought that those kind of people would look at me," said Hamilton.

They looked, and they loved the shoes so much, Maker ordered four pairs. When FOX6 spoke with Hamilton, he was working on a pair for rapper Kevin Gates.

Savage Customz

"I'm an artist, but I didn't expect people to want to wear the art," said Hamilton.

It's not just giving the big shots a pair of customs that makes his job rewarding. It's seeing all walks of life wearing his art.

"Going into Walmart and seeing somebody in your shoes -- it's amazing -- just knowing that somebody appreciates what you did that much that they just wear it all the time," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said his focus is expanding his business, with a goal of eventually opening his own custom sneaker shop in Milwaukee, or to work for a major company.

Savage Customz

"There's a lot of customizers in Milwaukee, but they can't mimic what I can do," said Hamilton.

Savage Customz website

Savage Customz on Facebook

Savage Customz on Instagram

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