Gladys Tamez: Meet the Mexican American designer behind Taylor Swift’s ’22’ hat that’s changing lives

BARRIO – Gladys Tamez was born in Texas and is a Mexican-American hat designer. She is widely considered the most famous hat designer in America. She founded Gladys Tamez Millinery or “GTM” in Los Angeles in 2012.Tamez is listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the most creative Mexicans in the world.

Tamez was raised in Mexico, in a family of Taurina bullfighters. Her mother, Elizabeth Tamez, owned a local bookstore, and at 10, she was reading Vogue. Tamez attended art school in Florence, Italy, where her initial designs were created. While traveling in VSpain, Tamez discovered a small hat shop run by four generations of milliners that inspired her to focus on hat design…. And as they say, the rest is history.

Before Taylor Swift takes the stage during her highly anticipated “Eras Tour,” you’ll likely hear fans ask, “Who’s going to get the hat tonight?”

During the first show of Swift’s concert series at SoFi Stadium, the Grammy winner shared a special moment with Bianka Bryant, daughter of Kobe and Vanessa Bryant.

While performing her song “22,” Swift gave the hat she was wearing to Bianka. The exchange quickly went viral online.

Giving the “22” hat to a fan during each live performance has become a tradition for the singer and the creator of those hats said it was an incredible honour to be part of such a tender moment.

“I woke up to that beautiful news, I was so excited because for me, I’ve been growing up watching Kobe, and it was so sad for me what happened,” said Gladys Tamez, who runs Gladys Tamez Millinery in Los Angeles.

Tamez’s hat design is worn by Swift every night. Swift’s team reached out to the designer during the planning stage of the tour, needing enough hats to go around.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, how many? How are we going to do it? I had lots of questions, but I have the best materials …”

She also has plenty of experience. Her designs have been worn by stars like Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Tamez has always had love for her craft and through the “Eras Tour,” she’s been able to witness that love be shared with so many young, deserving fans across the country.

“It means a lot because with my designs, I’ve touched somebody’s heart, you know? It’s been beautiful.”

A hat that for many Swifties, fits like an old song that you still know by heart or a new friend you feel you’ve known forever.

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