Tracy Reese's New Clothing Line 'Hope for Flowers' is Stylish, Sustainable, and For the Culture

To many of us, Tracy Reese is the black aunty of high fashion. For over 21 years she’s been out here shining, achieving every accolade that a designer could dream of from dressing First Lady Michelle Obama and THE Oprah Winfrey, to continually staying relevant in a highly competitive, ever-changing industry. All the while, she’s used her platform to celebrate ‘real women’ by advocating for diversity and inclusion long before the rest of the industry caught on to the game. Now, Tracy Reese is out here innovating once again as she leads the wave of fashion designers who are making the switch to sustainable fashion, while creating the blueprint for other black designers to do the same.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

During a recent conversation with Vogue, Tracy Reese shared about why it was important for her to return to her roots in Michigan to create Hope for Flowers; her newest brand that is focused just as much on helping the planet as it is on helping stimulate her home state’s local economy. Not only is her brand’s reinvention a testimony to defining your own path, but every flirty silhouette and handcrafted pattern in her newest collection is a vibe.

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Pascaline Silk Midi Dress

“This many years into my career, I needed the challenge. I needed to shake things up and to recommit to my work in a fresh way and in a way that I felt good about. Not just the routine of designing collection after collection, but a slower, more thoughtful model where everything has intent. I’m getting back to all the things I love about design.”

Hope for Flowers is everything that we’ve come to love about Tracy Reese’s bold yet sophisticated designs, but created with natural textiles and produced 100% domestically. Not only did Reese draw every print for the collection by hand,  but she trained and employed local women who work in her newly opened factory located in Flint. The pieces they make at this factory are exclusively sold at a black owned boutique in Michigan, Detroit is the New Black. There’s levels to Hope for Flowers’ ethical approach, which prioritizes ethical use of natural materials and human labor while keeping the black dollar circulating in our community longer.

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Source: Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese

Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Cleo Striped Midi Skirt

The more I learned about fast fashion and cheap production in general, I just knew that was the antithesis to everything I was thinking about...If you’re selling a garment for $10, let’s just do the math and understand what that means for all the people along that supply chain. It’s like slavery. I knew I didn’t want anything to do with that, so it made me get really serious about what I did want.”

Tracy Reese’s switch to sustainable fashion also signals an opportunity for small black designers to gain a competitive edge over fast fashion brands as ethical production becomes more important to customers. While fast fashion brands like Forever 21 and Zara are busy releasing ‘green collections’ for clout, black designers like Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Sindiso Khumalo have managed to sustain truly ethical brands with far less resources. Their small production runs are already a great first step, and as more black designers venture into sustainability and even open up their own small factories, they’ll be more knowledge and resources accessible to pass around. 

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Hope for Flowers by Tracy Reese
Michelle Floral Midi Dress

“Everyone can do a little bit, and then you can do a little bit more, and a little more. People are mystified about where to begin, but there are a lot of ways to approach it.”

We stan for Aunty Tracy for using her platform to create real change for the environment AND for the culture! Hope for Flowers is now available at Anthropologie and at Detroit is the New Black. Shop the collection now.