Tracy Reese is an American fashion designer and entrepreneur. I’ve seen her gorgeous designs in Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Anthropolgie and Neiman Marcus, and fitted them on clients on many a shopping trip. Her memorable New York Fashion Week shows were diverse, inclusive, colourful, pretty, dramatic, and I liked the Modern Retro integrity of her designs. I fondly remember the Tracy Reese pink dress and poppy dress that First Lady Michelle Obama wore at the Democratic National Convention and “The Freedom Ring” event. Classic, chic, and playfully bold.
Recently, though, the Tracy Reese pret-a-porter brand as we used to know it has been scarce at retail, and absent from NYFW. Little did I know that the designer had something extraordinary up her sleeve. While dialing back the original Tracy Reece brand, she was ramping up another. She started a new company called Hope for Flowers, which allows her to create sustainable and responsibly designed collections that focus on sustainable materials, ethical production, and hand work. The new company is based in Reese’s hometown of Detroit, and not in the Garment District of New York. Part of the collection is produced in a small factory in Flint, Michigan, which employs women who are re-entering the workforce and eager to learn new skills.
Tracy Reese explains that she couldn’t ignore the impact that her original brand was having on the environment, and wanted to do better. The Hope for Flowers label was born and speaks to Reese’s hopes for the planet. It is “designed for women who are inspired by beauty and also desire to use their power as consumers to be agents for positive change in the world.” Reese wants to keep production quantities small, ship fewer collections, and showcase them at select retailers instead of large global chains because as she puts it, “the world just does not need so much merchandise.”
As I browse the Hope for Flowers collection, I adore what I see. The same bright and crisp colours, soft fabrics, romantic patterns, and flowing silhouettes that were signature to the original brand are coming through. What a beautifully and meaningful way to evolve one’s designs in hope for a better future.
At the moment you can buy these designs at Anthropologie or on the the Hope for Flowers website. Sizes range from US0 to 14, and some styles are available in extended sizes. I had my eye on a gorgeously Summery tiered floral midi skirt, but it’s already sold out in my size. Clearly, I’m not the only one enamoured by the designs of this empowering and sustainable collection.