A Fashion Passion

Jules Reid spent years selling stocks in NYC but always had her sights on the the Garment District. Now, she’s launched her bright first collection, with a second due this fall.

Clearly there is a lot of brain behind Jules Reid’s beauty. The tall, blonde 41-year-old Fredericksburg resident has produced her first fashion line, turning a longtime passion into a successful spring/summer collection this year, and she has a fall line hitting stores in September.

Reid worked in New York as a stockbroker for 10 years and then as an interior designer for clients in and around Virginia while she was a stay-at-home mom for her three boys. To Reid, the processes of designing a home and creating a fashion line are similar: “You sell an idea to a client, and then you have to make it come true,” she says. “The hardest part of a fashion line is how do you get it produced, and interior design helped with the making-it-happen part.”

Reid studied textile design to learn how to manufacture her own prints. The resulting designs include enormous violet and goldenrod silk-screened tigers and 1970s daisy motifs printed on top of metallic brocade. Her line is made in workrooms in Manhattan’s garment district and proudly boasts “Made in New York” labels.

Her spring/summer collection features a melon ice and lemonade pink palette that echoes the Lilly Pulitzer mindset. The fall collection is a little bit more of a risk, with jewel tones and dramatic silhouettes that take her designs from familiar to chic. “Second collections are hard,” says Reid. “They have to be ordered before stores can gauge the success of the first collection.”

For both collections, Reid drew on a trove of vintage trims she found in France to generously adorn sleeves and tunic hems. She also sourced the rich Solstiss lace used by couturiers like Chanel and Dior. “The Parisienne,” her printed gown in the Fall line, pays further homage to the city she finds so inspiring.

Virginians can find Reid’s clothes at Charlottesville’s hip downtown boutique Eloise and at the neo-preppy stronghold Sherman Pickey in Georgetown, among other shops. Calypso in New York City also carries the line—it’s one of the places where über-stylish Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw shops.

Questions for this new designer:

How would you describe your personal style?

If I don’t wear Jules Reid, I wear vintage. Emilio Pucci and Missoni are my all-time favorite designers, and I prefer vintage jewelry to new, with the exception of Lanvin, whose current pieces are out of this world. I spent several years in SoHo when I was single and didn’t have kids, and vintage stores and flea markets were my hobby.

What is your best vintage piece?

A vintage Pucci long cotton velvet bell skirt in greens and purples. I based a velvet skirt in the fall line on it. It’s called the Polly, after one of my best friends, the godmother to my oldest son.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My line is very colorful. I lived in India for a year when I was little—my Dad did his residency there—and my Mom used to wear saris. I definitely had younger parents. We drove a VW bug, and my Dad had a beard. They were hippies, ’60s bohemians—what we call “gypset.”

“Gypset”?

“Gypsy” plus “jetset”—the name comes from Julia Chaplin’s book Gypset Style, published last year by Assouline. It’s a must-read for any aspiring fashionista.

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