“I did not need a major to become a successful artist,” King says. “So I quit college and began my pursuit of making a name for myself in Dallas. Architecture helped me realize I do not want to be put in a box or chained down when it comes to my creative expression. Screen printing and communication design helped me to see that the devil is in the details.”
Success came quickly for King — but at a price. The first design he sold was dad cap inspired by the a 7-Eleven logo with Dallas area code “214” stitched on the front. After borrowing money from his 401(k), he had the hats made in California, then flipped them for $36 each in Dallas. Less than a month later, his entire inventory was gone.
“I had no money besides my 401(k) to invest,” King says. “I also had some DK tags made, and I literally hot-glued them in the hats because I couldn’t afford the stitch cost. I gave a few out just to have some free publicity and exposure, then sold the rest through my social media and a big cartel site.”
"I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wanted to introduce some exclusivity with my merchandise.” — Derick King
Back by popular demand, a limited number of Dallas-related merchandise will be up for grabs from 6-9 p.m. Saturday during a pop-up shop at Cltr Club, a new streetwear store at 423 Singleton Blvd. The event is BYOB and will feature jams by DJ NaturalHiiigh and musical guests Rikki Blu and Elijah Heaps.
In addition to the 30 hoodies, 30 snapbacks and 30 dad hats King will release during the pop-up, attendees can also preorder a denim jacket with his Marlboro-inspired Dallas design on the back for $160. The online store for King’s brand, Have a Hood Day, is set to release new items the same day.
“It is first come, first serve,” King says. “Which is something you don’t normally see in the Dallas streetwear scene. Usually brands will make as much merchandise as people want. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I wanted to introduce some exclusivity with my merchandise.”
When the self-made artist isn’t reimagining everyday signage into cheeky apparel, you can find him in his studio apartment with a paintbrush in hand. Pop-culture paintings of Prince, Quick Trip logos and Campbell’s soup cans are some of his most popular work on Instagram.
“I get my inspirations from everyday life,” he says. “From gas stations and corner stores to commercials and food brands. I prefer my artwork to be relatable.”
His next move is to raise awareness for Have a Hood Day in major cities across the country while cooking up collaborations at home.
“I plan on doing some collaborations with a few start-up brands in Dallas and dropping some unique collections during the summer,” King says. “I also am planning a solo show called Water to Wine at the end of the year to showcase my artwork.”
See more Dallas-inspired artwork and designs by DK Creates on King's Instagram.