I met TiffTheZeta nearly 10 years ago when I was an up-and-coming kitchen beautician tending to her then 2-year old loc journey. I would stand behind her, twisting and interlocking, coifing her hair into whatever style she found on the internet…long before IG was a thing. She would tell me of the money moves she was making, always in present tense. Never a dream or an idea. Always action. Since then, her loc journey has become a metaphor for her hustle: all growth, all the time.
Long before TiffTheZeta became a fashion design and styling brand, she was a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Tiffany leveraged her larger than life personality into a lucrative career promoting parties on and off campus. Attracting party-goers the state over, Tiffany was building a name for herself as Tiffany Maxfield. But, as her work as a promoter continued to gain notoriety, she would hear DJs, club owners, celebrities asking, “You know Tiff…the Zeta!” Her eponym was born.
Since, she’s graduated, relocated back to roots in Dallas and has built an online empire that brings her kissing distance from icon status. This is her story.
DW: Why did you make repping Dallas such a big part of your brand?
TiffTheZeta: Because this is my city. And I’m proud of Texas. For people not in Texas [and some people in Texas], they don’t see the dope clothes and music we create. They think 10-gallon hats and stirrups. While there are dope Black people that wear that, that’s not all Dallas is. I thought that if I don’t represent what Dallas is, what we are in the city, in Pleasant Grove, in South Dallas, in Oak Cliff, then who will? Now there are a lot people representing the city, but I wanted to show people how dope we are in my way.
DW: How did you make the business transition from events and parties to fashion?
TiffTheZeta: When I started thinking about certain things I could do to give people a piece of me. Since I was growing out of being promoter, I started making the “Heart of Gold” back in 2015. I thought this could be a way for my fans and followers to have a piece of [my brand], especially since I didn’t know clearly where I wanted to go as a stylist. I knew I wanted to design the whole time. I just didn’t have a strategy on how to get into it. The next thing was the “Supras”, my two tone trousers, which grew into my “Texas Two-Piece” collection.
DW: How did you nail down on “this is what I want to do”?
TiffTheZeta: In high school, I designed all my dresses. I didn’t want to look like the ghetto girls because I’m ghetto too. I wanted to be different. So Nic Moore and I designed a homecoming dress with the purple lilac and blue colors. Ten years later, I was designing something for a client and we found the same colors. I wanted to design something using my homecoming inspiration, but had to rethink it. So it was all born from my vision from when I was 15 in high school.
DW: Dallas, Texas, is a huge part of your brand. How do you rep your city, do your brand justice and create the next dope piece for your collection?
TiffTheZeta: I couldn’t just tell you how. I just come up with it. But I know there are two different Texas: the high end luxury and the hood n*ggas, who “ain’t putting on no dress shirt”. So I create clothes that bring the two together.
DW: It sounds like you make clothes for the ghetto girl and the hood n*gga that you were/ran with in high school and for the more upscale brand that you are today
TiffTheZeta: I do both. With “City Made Apparel”, I connected with Quentin Arnold. He started with the basketball gear and streetwear. He hit me up saying he wanted to get more connected to the cities. So we built our collab on City Made Apparel. And the “Texas Two-Piece” is all me, for that more luxury part of the brand.
DW: What’s next?
TiffTheZeta: I am designing a few dope pieces. Still staying in the realm of streetwear. I can’t say too much about what I’m going to do. But I’m loving the whole monochromatic feel. I love the everything in one color or everything in one pattern. I like the details, like the collar. I like keeping my silhouettes unisex, but I want to add kids and adolescents. I want it to be a thing where the whole family got a two-piece.
A version of this story appeared in the September 16, edition of DW.
- Photography by Steven D. Hill @iamStevenDHill
- Make-up by Phyllicia Knight of Faced by Phil and Hello Skin @helloskin_adalynmarie
- Styling by Tiff The Zeta @TiffTheZeta