Tracy Reese’s Fall 2013 show on Sunday popped with preppy sparkles and bright prints. In her signature girly style, she added a surprise: one model strutted down the runway clutching a kitten. Backstage, Reese talked to TIME about working with Target, going out in high tops and all the buzz over her fashions for the First Lady.
Your Fall collection is inspired by New York. What’s unique about the fashion of New York City women?
There are a lot of strong women here, and they make their own personal statement. And it was really about individuality, and using clothes your way to flatter yourself, and express your own sense of self. This is a city where people do that. I was just remembering when I was in school and we would go out and we would get new outfits every time we went out. But we were running around in high tops and crazy fashion and just having a lot of fun with it. I wanted to have fun with the clothes, and I wanted the audience and the models to have fun with them too.
What kind of woman do you envision will wear this collection?
So many different types. And that’s the thing. I don’t like to pinpoint a certain type, it’s more of a personality. She’s got a strong sense of self, and she loves color and pattern. She just is very self-confident.
You have a few diffusion lines, and have collaborated with Target, Sally Hansen and Keds, among others. Why these different ventures?
It’s a way to broaden our scope, to learn something from other people. You can’t always just do things your way. Each collaboration brings something to you: something that you’ve learned, a new way to do something, new connections, new friends.
Is there a brand you’d like to partner with next?
It would be fun to work with J.Crew, because they bring a lot of fashion to the masses. I had fun working with Target, that was a great collab. It would be fun to do something like that again.
(PHOTOS: Tracy Reese – New York Fashion Week 2012)
Is it ever frustrating that people seem to only obsess about your creations for the First Lady?
No, not at all. It just shows how much people admire her and are interested in what she’s doing and what she’s wearing.