Hope For Flowers Pre-Fall 2021 Collection


Tracy Reese has packed and shipped every Hope for Flowers order that’s gone out in lockdown. After running a global brand for 20 years, start-up life has certainly been an adjustment, but it’s proved invigorating. “I’m having fun again,” she said from her hometown of Detroit. Later this year, Reese will open an H.Q. in the city’s arts district, where she plans to hire and train women of color in the community. The ultimate goal is to shift most of her production from overseas to Detroit and create employment opportunities for women whose skills in sewing, embroidery, and textiles haven’t been utilized in Motor City.

Reese launched Hope for Flowers in 2018, and her eco-conscious, community-driven, anti-fast-fashion missive only resonates more today. The pandemic fortified her purpose, but like many of her peers, it also forced a bit of scaling back and editing. The small collection of pieces she chose to produce for pre-fall 2021—launching in stores as spring warms to summer—had to tick every box: They’re ethically made with Tencel, organic cotton, linen, cupro, and NAIA acetate, among other eco-minded fabrics, but they’re also reliably vibrant and mood lifting. Color and print have always been Reese’s things; here, a flowery motif came in an unexpected clash of baby pink, neon lime, and lemon, while another paired shades of cayenne and fuchsia. After a long winter (and year) in gray and black sweats, they looked utterly rejuvenating, even via Zoom.

The silhouettes will appeal to the “re-emerging” shopper too. Reese stuck to flowing, comforting shapes, not simply because we’ve been living in leggings, but to offer a gentle transition into our new world. Why suffer rigid lines or fussy layers when you could throw on a breezy, single-sleeve dress and focus on enjoying your time with friends and loved ones? Even her tailoring experiments were cut ultra-oversized and came in buttery-soft Tencel, like a boxy jumpsuit and a pair of ultra-wide trousers. A novel idea was a “trouser skirt” that hung past the hips, which Rees styled with a cute shrunken vest. Most items could be reined in with a belt, should the mood strike, or mixed together (see: the sweet floral tops clashing with plaid trousers). The sustainable shopper tends to favor clothes that can shape-shift and be worn multiple ways, but Reese said the fluidity was just as much an effort to accommodate a diversity of bodies.

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