It’s New York Fashion Week 2016 and Black History Month, which means the fabulous Tracy Reese is the perfect focus for a spotlight spinster profile. She’s single, talented and the only black female designer to head her own label and show consistently at New York Fashion Week. Her clothes have both a lady-like elegance and cool girl vibe with bold prints that women young and old simply love. Reese’s designs have been worn by FLOTUS Michelle Obama, and countless celebrities including Eva Longria, Carrie Underwood and Michelle Williams.
She hails from Detroit near the 8 mile made “famous” by Eminem, where she was inspired by her Grandmother and Mother —both who sewed and styled their clothes. She tells the NY Daily News in 2009, “My grandmother was always so well put together, from head to toe. She’d have the pillbox hat, the open-toed shoes, the perfect purse. And my mother loved to put her looks together. That’s all I knew of — my icons were within my family.”
No wonder she was a young protégé sewing her first garment at age 8. It’s no surprise that she went on to Parsons School of Design in New York and had Anna Sui and Marc Jacobs as classmates. Ever the trailblazer since launching her line in 1998, she has partnered with Sarah Jessica Parker on a line of shoes in 2015, sells her two lines Tracy Reese and Plenty By Tracy Reese on her e-commerce site and with major retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie and Nordstrom.
For fall/winter 2016 she opted not to do a full scale runway show showing instead a nine-minute film followed by a low-key presentation with a live piano soundtrack at the Roxy Hotel. Reese tells Vogue.com that “I think we’re all suffering from a little runway fatigue…Doing the same thing season after season doesn’t seem relevant. This felt like the right moment to do something different.” I would disagree especially for Tracy’s beautiful Fall Winter 2016 collection that included strong streamlined coats, subdued prints, sexy slouchy trousers and as usual gorgeous dresses. We could never get tired of your clothes!