Taylor Tomasi Hill isn’t the first Southerner to find her way back home after years away—but she might be the most stylish. Over nearly two decades in New York as an editor at magazines such as W and as creative director of the luxury web retailer Moda Operandi, the Dallas native became a street-style and social-media star, photographed constantly for her daring ensembles, all punctuated by her flame-red hair. That bold taste also caught the eye of the beloved Big D boutique Forty Five Ten. The cofounder made a pitch: Return to Texas, and shape the vision of the women’s department as the company embarks on a new chapter. Hill couldn’t resist, and she joined the firm last spring to help plan the debut of its stunning new four-story flagship.
Long aimed at Dallas’s top socialites, Forty Five Ten has ambitions beyond the gala set. Picture a more democratic version of Colette, in Paris, or 10 Corso Como, in Milan, world-famous shops that elevate clothing to high art. Hill’s eye for emerging designers and worldwide relationships will aid her dual mission: Set the city’s fashion agenda, while also drawing a wider clientele. That translates into distinctive pieces (and exclusives) from up-and-comers such as Rosie Assoulin and Harvey Faircloth sharing rack space with the more established Pradas of the world.
Acquiring pieces to suit the needs of Southerners required Hill to recalibrate a little. Still, she has plenty of room to experiment: In addition to the recently launched location in downtown Dallas, Hill’s nearby spin-off store, TTH Forty Five Ten, caters to younger customers; a Houston outpost of the main brand opened last year; and an interiors store in Dallas was slated to premiere in March. Could cities outside of Texas be next? Hill smiles demurely. “We’re building a global brand,” she says.