Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Fashion Designer and Detroit Native Tracy Reese Teams With Naturalizer to Benefit Budding Entrepreneurs

Fashion Designer and Detroit Native Tracy Reese Teams With Naturalizer to Benefit Budding Entrepreneurs

January 1, 1970
Crain’s Detroit Business
Jay Davis

April 27, 2022

A Detroit native who’s spent more than two decades making her name in the fashion industry is collaborating with a national retailer on a collection with a philanthropic element.

Tracy Reese and her Hope for Flowers collection will be featured by clothing and accessories retailers Naturalizer and Anthropologie. The collection features nine styles of shoes, including flat sandals, sport sandals, kitten heels, and espadrilles in a variety of colors and patterns. Items in the limited, single-run collection range in price from $110-$148 and are available on Naturalizer’s and Anthropologie’s websites and in select Anthropologie stores.

The collection, according to Reese, is designed to convey the optimism, color and prints that have become synonymous with her offerings.

“I’m excited to collaborate with Naturalizer on this collection,” said Reese, a previous Crain’s Notable Women in Design honoree who launched Hope for Flowers in 2018. “Naturalizer is a company that’s also committed to responsible design and production. … The whole collection is meant to be joyful, feminine and also really comfortable.”

Reese and Naturalizer have worked together before. The 58-year-old designer starred in the brand’s “Today We Will” campaign and they partnered with the College of Creative Studies in Detroit on a shoe design program that will award scholarships to three students. Reese, whose designs have been worn by former First Lady Michelle Obama, sits on CCS’s Fashion Design Advisory board. The winning design will be featured in a Hope for Flowers nationwide marketing campaign.

The Naturalizer collaboration will also benefit the Nest Artisan Guild’s Makers United program, which provides free resources and access to small, artisanal businesses across the U.S. A portion of sales from the Hope for Flowers collection will benefit Nest through Naturalizer directly via an undisclosed, one-time donation from the company. A donation option for customers is also available at checkout. Reese, who serves on the Nest board of trustees, helped bring the Makers United program to Detroit in 2020.

Naturalizer Vice President of Design Angelique Joseph commended Reese, who left Detroit to enroll in the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1982 and previously served as head of the women’s division for Perry Ellis, for her efforts inside the fashion industry.

Jean-Claude Levasseur
Tracy Reese’s Hope for Flowers collection is designed to convey the optimism, color and prints that have become synonymous with her offerings.

“Tracy Reese brings not only her endless talent and passion to our highly-anticipated capsule collection, but also a deep commitment to being a positive force in the fashion industry and in her hometown of Detroit,” Joseph said in a statement. “Her core values and her mission align with our ‘Today We Will’ campaign, which supports women making a difference through mindful actions and positive social change.”

The Hope for Flowers label produces responsibly-designed collections for women featuring dresses and sportswear. The company earlier this year started manufacturing out of its Detroit location on Woodward Avenue,said Reese, who established her first clothing line in 1998 in New York. Naturalizer uses responsibly-sourced leather, eco-conscious packaging with all of its shoe boxes using 80 percent recycled paper and soy-based ink. The Hope for Flowers collection features insole boards made from recycled molded plastic, recycled linings and select fabric made from sustainable yarns.

Reese, who at her Detroit location offers art education classes for youths and adults, is excited about the collaboration for a variety of reasons.

“Obviously, it’s great exposure for the brand. I think people who might not know it exists will learn about the brand and our mission in terms of responsible design,” Reese said. “We’re not just a clothing brand. We’ve got a mission in Detroit. Our intention is to share what we’ve learned about sustainability and enhancing communities, and learning through the creative process.”

View the original article.