South Tulsa, California, isn’t a destination you can visit. But it is the home to Danzy, a Los Angeles-based clothing brand started by Oklahoma-native Marshall Danzy Taulbert.
Taulbert started Danzy in 2018 after deciding his previous line, Product of Privilege, wasn’t what he envisioned for the future of his brand. He wanted something that could stand the test of time, like Fendi or Chanel – a one-word name that was easily recognizable.
“I was walking around Barney’s [in L.A.], and they had the designer’s name on the floor, and I couldn’t picture Product of Privilege there,” he says. “It didn’t seem like it fit. Danzy is my middle name – it’s one name, it’s kind of off-beat, you don’t really hear it, it’s strong, and it’s short. That’s it. I made the [legal] change and switched it over.”
A self-taught designer, Taulbert describes his clothing as “stylishly comfortable.” He seeks to provide people with casual-chic attire to wear to work or out on the town.
“I want the Danzy girl to be in my sweats all-day … and then wear that same sweatsuit out at night, but paired with a heel or a cool leather jacket and still being comfortable,” he says. “She can even come home, order her favorite food and hop into bed.”
Some ‘Danzy girls’ include high-profile celebrities like model Irina Shayk and pop icon Lady Gaga.
You’ll know you’re wearing an original Danzy piece by the green emblem logo on the sleeve or pant leg, but that isn’t the only thing that makes the clothing unique; Taulbert adds his own personal touch to each item.
“The one thing with my tie-dye is I brush it on like an artist or painter,” he explains. “I paint a different design on every single piece I create.”
Danzy is inspired by Taulbert’s family and his Oklahoma roots in more ways than one.
“It’s the basis of everything,” he says. “It started with calling it Danzy – it’s an old family name on my mom’s side.”
The primary colors Taulbert uses in his fashion line and logo are cream, green and blue. He says they were evoked by his childhood home and his dad’s – author and speaker Clifton Taulbert – constant reminder that “you always need a Navy-blue blazer.”
His hometown of Tulsa and his new home of California are ingrained in his fashion line through a “city” of his imagination. While it may not be an actual location, it’s his way of paying homage to the two places he feels raised him.
“On every piece of clothing that goes out, the [logo] says ‘Originated 1981 South Tulsa, California,’” he says. “There are people all over the world wearing South Tulsa on their arm, thinking it’s in California, Googling it and finding out that it’s in Oklahoma.”
Taulbert’s parents and weekly trips to the local mall played an influential part in the Danzy brand.
“My parents inspired me more than they realize,” says Taulbert. “My mom was the most stylish, classy woman I knew. Her being stylish was a big thing, and I never really knew how much it rubbed off until I started designing things.”
Knowing his dad would work every day to make his dream come true – and not someone else’s – impacted Taulbert’s entrepreneurial spirit.
“I saw from a very early age what creativity can truly do and where it can take you,” he says.
You can shop for Danzy clothing by visiting danzyus.com.