Fourteen years after she made a fashion statement as the lawyer dressed in head-to-toe pink in Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon is finally making her mark on the fashion industry.
The Hollywood starlet has launched her very own fashion brand Draper James which sells clothing and accessories, as well as homeware and gifts, inspired by her Deep South heritage and style.
Speaking to WWD, the 39-year-old described the collection as "unapologetically pretty".
"What's wrong with being pretty? That went out the window a long time ago," said Witherspoon. "In the South, there's a lot of colour, prints, tradition, traditional fabrics like gingham, plaids, stripes. There's also definitely a feeling that what you wear makes you feel better, especially if you're wearing colour, prints or joyful things."
The actress says she's had a very hands on approach to creating the designs which range from $15 (£9.84) to $400 (£262): “It is a lot of work. It is a lot more working than standing pretending to be a designer in a movie,” she said, speaking about her role as fashion designer Melanie Smooter in Sweet Home Alabama.
“When things came back and they weren’t good enough, I was like, ‘Not good enough. Not good enough.’ It’s a big deal that my name is on something. It’s not just my name. It’s my grandparents’ name (Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon), which is a big, big deal. And you know I feel very emotional about it.”
The star hopes Draper James will inspire shoppers to travel to Southern American cities. “I hope that it sort of opens people’s eyes to how much the South has changed and to all of the cultural experiences happening there."
As well as selling fashion and home goods, which the brand can ship internationally, the website will host lifestyle content, says Witherspoon. “We’re going to have City Guides but through my eyes, the places I love. We will have different Southern ambassadors that will show places to buy amazing Southern antique silver or where to find hand towels like their grandmothers had.”
The actress also dismissed rumours that she is to open a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. “There’s no hotel. I don’t know why people think I’m making a hotel, but I’m not,” she says. What is under construction is a 3,000-square-foot Draper James shop that will mirror the decor in the actress’ own home in Nashville.