Dallas has long been known for cowboy hats, football, and big oil money; however, Hance Taplin is uniting the city to change those tired stereotypes. Taplin has a love for design. But, even more than design, he has a unique gift for tapping into the heartbeat of a city, a person, or a brand and designing something that captures the very essence of who they are. When he launched his 2015 line, By Way of Dallas, the first black varsity jacket was quickly embraced on the backs of Erykah Badu, Jeremy Biggers, the Sour Grapes Crew, and Blue The Great.
While in college, Taplin found inspiration in the hip-hop news magazine, XXL. He was intrigued by the typography, the images, and the photos. His college counselor suggested he try his hand at graphic design—the moment, he recalls, that changed everything. After graduating with a degree in graphic design, he packed up a van and moved to Dallas where his family had relocated. What he thought would be a temporary move proved to be long-term. He got his first big job at Simmons Design Associates and began getting to know this new city as his second home.
In 2007, Taplin helped launch (and served as Creative Director for) Dallas-based men’s clothing store Centre, which specializes in progressive streetwear apparel, shoes, and accessories. Taplin was responsible for the brand’s logo and started to design Dallas-specific apparel for the shop to sell exclusively. When he saw how well Centre’s apparel sold, he learned a lot about local consumers: the people of Dallas wanted to represent their city with something original. Through the brotherhood he formed with...
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