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Tracy Reese

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Information about Tracy Reese

Profile image of Tracy Reese

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Deep Pink
Favorite Food:
Nuts, Popcorn, Kale
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
I Have All The Time I Need To Do All I Need To Do.

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1964
Birth Location:
Detroit, Michigan

Profession

Category:
StyleMakers
Occupation(s):
Fashion Designer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Deep Pink
Favorite Food:
Nuts, Popcorn, Kale
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
I Have All The Time I Need To Do All I Need To Do.

Birthplace

Born:
2/12/1964
Birth Location:
Detroit
See how Tracy Reese is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Fashion designer Tracy Reese was born on February 12, 1964 in Detroit, Michigan. As a child, Reese’s mother, a modern dance teacher, taught her how to sew and make clothes. Reese graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit in 1980, and moved to New York City to enroll in an accelerated program at the Parsons School of Design, which she completed in 1984.

After graduating from the Parsons School, Reese worked for French fashion designer Martine Sitbon at the firm of Arlequin. Reese went on to work at a number of top fashion houses, eventually becoming head of the women’s portfolio for 1980s fashion icon Perry Ellis. In 1996, Reese launched her own ready-to-wear label, Tracy Reese, which was noted for its femininity and retro-influenced styles. Reese opened a storefront in New York City to exclusively sell her product line. In 2000, Reese expanded her brand with the creation of her mass market line, Tracy Reese Plenty, and her home furnishings line, Plenty, which was followed in 2006 by the dress-focused line Frock! That same year, Reese opened the flagship Tracy Reese store in New York City. In 2009, Reese launched her luxury line Tracy Reese Black Label, and, two years later, opened the second Tracy Reese store in Tokyo, Japan. In 2012, First Lady Michelle Obama, a longtime fan of Tracy Reese designs, wore a dress custom-made by Reese during her speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Reese also designed clothing for singer Beyonce Knowles and actress Sarah Jessica Parker. For Fall 2016, Reese created a short film called ‘A Detroit Love Song,’ which she presented at Fashion Week off-runway. Also that year, Reese announced that her designs would be available in an expanded range of sizes, making them more inclusive of all American women.

Reese was inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1990, and joined its committee in 2007, becoming its sole African American member. In 2007, she was appointed to the board of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Reese also served as the Turnaround Artist for the Barnum School in Bridgeport, Connecticut through the President’s Committee of the Humanities and Arts.

Tracy Reese was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 2, 2016.

See how Tracy Reese is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tracy Reese's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese talks about her mother's education and career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tracy Reese talks about her father's education and occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tracy Reese remembers her community in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tracy Reese describes her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tracy Reese lists her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tracy Reese describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Tracy Reese recalls her childhood hobbies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tracy Reese recalls her education at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese recalls her interests during high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese recalls her early interest in the arts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese describes the racial demographics of Cass Technical High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese recalls her admission into the Parsons School of Design in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tracy Reese recalls her experiences at the Parsons School of Design
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tracy Reese describes her living situation while studying at the Parsons School of Design
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tracy Reese remembers her classes at the Parsons School of Design
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tracy Reese recalls her classmates at the Parsons School of Design
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tracy Reese remembers working at Charivari in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tracy Reese remembers the fashion trends of the 1980s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese talks about her experiences of gender discrimination at the Parsons School of Design
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese recalls obtaining a position at Arlequin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese talks about Marc Jacobs' early career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese describes her position at Arlequin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tracy Reese talks about the emergence of contemporary fashion in the 1980s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tracy Reese describes the merchandising at Arlequin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tracy Reese remembers starting her fashion label
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tracy Reese remembers factoring her early collections
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tracy Reese recalls stopping production of her first fashion line
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese remembers helping Marc Jacobs with his line, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese remembers helping Marc Jacobs create the 1988 Miami show
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese remembers joining Perry Ellis Portfolio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese recalls designing for Perry Ellis Portfolio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tracy Reese remembers Marc Jacobs' impact at Perry Ellis
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tracy Reese recalls working at Magaschoni
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tracy Reese remembers showing in New York Fashion Week
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Tracy Reese talks about the Council of Fashion Designers of America
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Tracy Reese recalls her decision to start her own fashion line
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Tracy Reese recalls launching the Tracy Reese collection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tracy Reese talks about the production of the Tracy Reese label
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese recalls founding T.R. Designs, Inc.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese recalls producing the Tracy Reese Plenty line in India
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese describes her Frock! line
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese recalls launching her flagship store
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tracy Reese remembers closing her retail stores
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tracy Reese talks about dressing Michelle Obama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tracy Reese recalls the celebrities who wore her designs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tracy Reese reflects upon the changes in fashion shows
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Tracy Reese describes her short film, 'A Detroit Love Song'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tracy Reese talks about her model casting decisions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tracy Reese talks about diversity in the fashion industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tracy Reese reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tracy Reese reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tracy Reese shares her advice for young fashion designers