Tracy Reese is an American designer whose signature rich, daring colors and unique prints are crafted into joyful, feminine clothing for modern women. Tracy Reese’s design philosophy is rooted in a commitment to bringing out the beauty in women of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Tracy Reese launched her namesake fashion brand in 1998 in New York City and over the past twenty-plus years, expanded to include sub-brands Plenty, Frock! and Black Label enjoying strong partnerships Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Anthropologie. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a custom Tracy Reese dress to address the DNC. Other notable fans of the brand include Sarah Jessica Parker, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Oprah Winfrey.
Tracy Reese continues to evolve and has pivoted her business strategy to a more sustainable, slow-fashion model. In 2019, Tracy launched Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese, a responsibly designed and produced collection. The Hope for Flowers collection employs Reese’s signature silhouettes and love of color and delivers clothing that is easy to wear and gentle on the earth. Each piece is crafted from organic fabrics and ethically sourced materials. The collection is produced in factories that pay fair living wages and support and value quality of life. She moved her design studio to her hometown, Detroit, plugging into the resurgence happening there while actively participating in plans to make Detroit a modern, sustainable garment production hub. Tracy formerly served as president of the board of ISAIC, the Industrial Sewing and Innovation Center, a Detroit-based, industry-shifting factory and Institute anchored in human-centric manufacturing.
A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America since 1990, Tracy Reese serves on its Board of Directors. Tracy also serves on the boards of NEST Artisan Guild and College for Creative Studies Fashion Accessories Design Program. She is also an artist, as part of Turnaround Arts, a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Reese is working to build an artisan studio in Detroit creating economic opportunities for women in under-served communities. Tracy launched an arts enrichment program for Detroit Public School students to broaden their cultural horizons. In this talk she will discuss the journey to responsible design and the mission of Hope for Flowers which is to create a positive social impact by empowering women and young people.
With support from Design Core Detroit. Series presenting partners: Detroit Public Television and PBS Books. Media partner: Michigan Radio.
In accordance with the University of Michigan’s Standard Practice Guidelines on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series does not censor our speakers or their content. The content provided is intended for adult audiences and does not reflect the views of the University of Michigan or Detroit Public Television.