To say that there is an abundance of artistic and design talent in downtown New York would be a vast understatement, but very few of the young people working on their ownburgeoning fashion brands have captured the attention of the international press quite as quickly as Reece Solomon has. The designer behind the Reece Hudson line of handbags has already been highlighted in glossies all over the world (Vogue Latin America, Teen Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, and Nylon Japan to name just a few) and has had her pieces snapped on some of the industry’s most powerful players on street style blogs.
Reece, along with her best friend and business partner Max Stein, has already built a following for her structured leather handbags in exotic materials and her timeless, vintage-inspired aesthetic. “I definitely look at vintage styles as inspiration points, since history always repeats itself,” Reece explained. “The best thing about vintage is that it’s not a current collection that’s available, so when you find a vintage piece it’s a little bit more one of a kind. It’s a more affordable way for people to buy more interesting clothing and build a more personal style.”
In just a few seasons, Reece and Max have expanded their distribution from New York and Los Angeles to global cities like Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Washington DC, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo. This season they are having their first presentation at MILK Studios during Fashion Week, whichwill include a video installation by Harry McNally, along with a physical installation with bags.
For Fall 2011, Reece stepped outside of just handbags and created a brand new line of belts, which instantly sold out at Kirna Zabete. Named after the streets in her neighborhood — Kenmare, Bowery, Lafayette — the belts incorporate details likebrass, mesh straps and crocodile scales cast in mixed metals. She also branched out into evening with her “No. 10” bag, which is anexpandable cap bag that features a crochet technique that was done in India.
To go along with the collection is a killer look book, shot by Ricky Powell in Dumbo, Brooklyn.”I met Ricky a few years ago kind of randomly at a photo store in the West Village when I was living there,” Reece said. “He is such a character and obviously has a really long history with New York and street culture, and I found that was really appealing — I loved the idea of working with this quintessential New York photographer who isn’t really known for any kind of fashion work, especially since I really consider us to be a ‘New York’ brand.”
Styled by their friend Brittany Berger and starring Leandra Medine, Becka Diamond, Ilirjana Alushaj, and Hannah Bronfman, Reece and Maxchose ladies who not only had relationships with the brand in the past, but who also hadtheir own personalities and signature styles that they brought to the table. With such a clear vision in mind, Reece plans to expand her company and range of products within the next year or so, but is very tight-lipped about what is coming next.
Although Reece Hudson is still a very small operation, they’re well prepared and pragmatic about their imminent expansion and the success that is coming their way. “Hopefully, within the next year maybe we’ll expand a little bit,” Reece said, especially since it can be tricky running a business with your best friend.
“We’re really good at saying exactly how it is and exactly what’s on our minds,” Reece explained. Max continued, “It’s a process figuring out how to create a working relationship after being friends, and at the end of the day the working relationship needs to override the friendship. If you have a problem you just need to get it out of the way and move on!”