A couple of weeks ago Reese attended a conference in Nashville to teach teenage girls about the importance of managing their money and planning their futures. The conference was sponsored by Draper James. Read more about the event in the posts below, and see some pictures in our Gallery:
Reese Witherspoon hosts ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Funds’ event
One of Hollywood’s most powerful women joined some of Nashville’s on Tuesday night, all to mentor the city’s next generation of female business leaders.
Five hundred girls from Metro Nashville Public Schools and their women mentors and moms gathered at the Music City Center to learn the tools of financial responsibility.
Harpeth Hall graduate Reese Witherspoon, her new 12 South boutique, Draper James, and First Tennessee Bank sponsored the free conference.
“When it came up that it was the YWCA, I was so excited,” Witherspoon said. “We used to go there when I was a little girl and take Jazzercise classes with my mom, and my grandma took bridge classes there. It’s always been an incredible place of resource for women in this city.”
Reese was featured in the October/November issue of Garden & Gun magazine, talking about Draper James. Below is the interview, and if anyone can provide us with scans from the issue then please get in touch!
Talking Shop With Reese Witherspoon
The Oscar-winning actress on grace, grandmothers, and breaking ground on her Nashville store
Self-determined since childhood, Nashville-raised actor and producer Reese Witherspoon has always been a get-it-done kind of woman. And so it was with Draper James, her budding fashion and lifestyle brand, which she developed because she “couldn’t find the sort of items I wanted anywhere else.” Named after her grandparents, Draper James celebrates what Witherspoon sees as a renaissance in Southern style, featuring playful dresses and jewelry alongside engraved julep cups and embroidered linens. This fall, she plans to open Draper James’s first store, in Nashville, realizing her dream of building a new tradition in the town she credits with building her.
Tell me about the genesis of Draper James.
I started this for many reasons. First, because I was being approached by Northeastern brands to represent them and I thought, I don’t know anything about the Northeast. I don’t even go there very often. [Laughs.] Then, two years ago I was shooting a movie in Atlanta, and I noticed this boom of cultural growth in the South: in food, music, art, fashion. I saw something similar in New Orleans and other places. I feel like a lot of people who left the South are moving back and bringing with them everything they’ve learned from living elsewhere.
You source and develop much of your line in the South. Your denim is sewn in Blue Ridge, Georgia; your linen pillows in Savannah.
Southerners have such pride in their work. I was tapping into a community that already existed. I started the company myself and funded it myself so I wouldn’t have to do what someone else wanted. My goal was to create a retail experience that spoke to Southern people. I feel like Southerners have their own unique sense of style, and I wanted to be a part of telling the story of what it means to be a contemporary Southern woman.
You’ve always been a bit of an ambassador on that front.
My mother always said, “If you want to get something done, ask a Southern woman to do it.” It’s so true. No matter what you need, within twenty-four hours it has gotten done. The last movie I shot in Georgia, I couldn’t find summer camps for my kids. And I asked one friend, the phone tree happened, and before the day was over I not only had a camp but also women volunteering to drive and pick up the kids. It’s incredible how Southern women take care of each other.
A couple of weeks ago Reese attended the launch of Tiffany & Co.’s new Masterpieces collection in Singapore. Photos were added to the Gallery at the time, and within this post you can find lots of interviews from the event.
One minute with Reese Witherspoon on Tiffany’s blue carpet
Capitol Theatre was awashed in blue last night, 15 October 2015 as Tiffany & Co. celebrated the launch of their new Masterpieces collection with a posh gala dinner. On the specially-created “blue carpet,” VIP guests and celebrities alike walked the press line to enter the theatre where they had the opportunity to see the new collection, created by design director Francesca Amfitheatrof in all its glory.
Of course the excitement of the night was the appearance of actress and brand-fan Reese Witherspoon, who flew to Singapore especially to attend this event. Witherspoon has already been seen wearing the Masterpieces collection in an appearance at this year’s Met Gala which she attended alongside Amfitheatrof.
We managed to catch one minute (literally) with Witherspoon and Amfitheatrof to talk about the new Tiffany’s collection.
LifestyleAsia (LSA): When you’re getting ready for the red (or in this case, blue) carpet, do you prefer statement or more subtle jewellery?
Reese Witherspoon (RW): Well it sort of depends on what I’m wearing. If I am wearing something more romantic, I like jewellery that is more simple, more classic. But when I wear something sleek, more contemporary then I want something more romantic. It really depends — I like to mix it up.
Reese covers the December issue of US Glamour magazine, as one of their Women Of The Year. The cover, photoshoot and interview are now available for us all – read the interview below, and see the photos in our Gallery. We’ll have scans for you asap.
Reese and the other honorees (Caitlyn Jenner, Victoria Beckham, Misty Copeland, Elizabeth Holmes, Cecile Richards, the women of Charleston, and the U.S. women’s national soccer team (TheWrap.com)) will be honoured at an awards ceremony in New York City on November 9th.
Reese Witherspoon on How She’s Shaking Up Hollywood, and Why She Feels Like Gloria Steinem Told Her to Do Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon is a Woman of the Year because… “She’s making movies, telling stories, giving women opportunities—all because she wants her daughter to have an example of what it’s like to be a responsible human.”
—comedian and 2011 Woman of the Year Chelsea Handler
Just a few years ago, Reese Witherspoon was pitching a new movie to seven studio heads and requested an extra 30 minutes with each executive to ask one question: What do you have in the works for women? “Only one studio was developing something for a woman in the lead,” Witherspoon, 39, recalls. “They said, ‘We’re happy if you bring us something, but it’s not a part of our development.’ ” Stunned, Witherspoon started obsessing over the deficit—bringing it up at dinner parties and business meetings, to a chorus of women saying, “We know!” Yeah, I’ll bring you something, she decided.
So in 2012, Witherspoon cofounded a production company, Pacific Standard, with producer Bruna Papandrea; the duo began buying up books and scripts with female protagonists to turn into films and TV series. And by 2015, Witherspoon found out just how winning her company’s by-and-about-women formula could be. Wild and Gone Girl, its first two films, featured women not as sidekicks or arm candy but as leading ladies who go through unique personal journeys. Stars Rosamund Pike, Laura Dern, and, yes, Witherspoon herself were all nominated for Oscars—and the films banked more than $400 million worldwide at the box office. With her producing and acting credits, Witherspoon landed on Forbes’ list of highest-paid actresses and on Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. Now she’s breaking into a full-on sprint toward equality: Pacific Standard has 32 projects in the works that put women front and center. “Reese gave me the opportunity with Hot Pursuit where I was producing, where I was a main character, where I got to play a strong, Latina woman,” says Sofía Vergara. “It’s amazing, Reese is such a tiny little thing, but she’s such a strong woman—she knows what she wants, and she gets what she wants.”
With her producing business booming, Witherspoon felt she could take on another new challenge this year: a fashion brand. She launched Draper James, a Southern-inspired clothing and home line, with a flagship store in Nashville. Lest you think she’s superhuman, though, she hasn’t taken an acting gig in over a year, so she could spend time with her husband, Jim Toth, and three kids, Ava, 16, Deacon, 12, and Tennessee, 3. (And yes, they are the cutest.)
Reese Witherspoon on Her Production Company: “We Support New Female Voices in Film”
With such hits as ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Wild,’ the actress and partner Bruna Papandrea’s Pacific Standard is breaking down the boys’ club barrier.
This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Reese Witherspoon is known for her lovable comedic characters in Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama and her critically acclaimed work in last year’s Wild and 2005’s Walk the Line, which earned her a best actress Oscar. But it’s her work behind the scenes as a producer through her Pacific Standard banner, which she and Bruna Papandrea founded in 2012, that has made her a true industry force. “One of the best parts of our job is we’re buying books and helping authors navigate the process of getting a book all the way to the screen,” says Witherspoon, 39, who will receive the 29th American Cinematheque Award on Oct. 30.
After the successes of Gone Girl and Wild, are publishers flocking to you at Pacific Standard?
When we bought Gone Girl, we could barely get anyone to read it. But there’s been such an incredible response to our company and what we’re trying to accomplish. Cheryl Strayed went from selling 1.5 million [copies of Wild] before the film was announced to selling 6 million books in two years. That’s huge for an author.
Did you and Bruna know you would work well together right away?
I really wanted a partner, not an employee. It’s a self-funded company, and we purposely chose not to be at one studio because we wanted to be able to take material everywhere. I met with her, and I’m sure she didn’t have any idea if I wanted to just develop material for myself or if I had real perspective about other stories or business acumen. Then I sent her Wild, and she said it was amazing and wanted to start this company. The next project we got within a month was Gone Girl.
Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James Maps Out Southern Plan
Draper James has opened its first store, a 3,000-square-foot flagship in Nashville, designed to resemble a Southern home.
The fashion and home brand that Reese Witherspoon launched online in May has a south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line aesthetic, paying tribute to the bright colors and floral prints favored by Southern women.
The store, whose windows are meant to look like a front porch, was designed to feel like a “Southern home, rooted in tradition,” said interior designer Mark Sikes, who is also working on Witherspoon’s private home.
“There’s a lot of shared references,” said Draper James chief executive officer Andrea Hyde, referring to the actress’ house and the store.
“We have a genuine story and such a large megaphone,” Hyde said. “Reese is a world-class storyteller. To bring this all to one place and tell the story in one building is wonderful.”
“I grew up in Nashville and it’s been such a direct inspiration for the brand,” said Witherspoon. “It just felt like the right place for our flagship.”
Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James collection has Southern charm
The rugged Danner hiking boots with red laces that Reese Witherspoon donned in the film “Wild,” displayed in a Lucite box in one corner of her Beverly Hills office, would never make the cut for the actress’ latest endeavor: a genteel line of Southern-inspired women’s apparel, accessories and home accents.
The line, called Draper James, was introduced in May at Draperjames.com, selling out many dress styles almost immediately. In early October, the company announced it had raised $10 million in venture capital for expansion, and later this month, a flagship bricks-and-mortar store is to open in Nashville, where Witherspoon grew up and owns a home.
No wonder Witherspoon is all smiles as she rushes into the office on teetering blue suede Manolo Blahnik pumps, a few minutes late for an interview and unaware that one leg is streaked with dirt from the car door. She carries Saint Laurent’s navy Sac De Jour handbag in one arm and in the other a Draper James carryall emblazoned with the phrase “Totes Y’all” that has sold out three times. Also in tow is the 39-year-old’s lookalike 16-year-old daughter Ava, who helps with the company’s social media postings and schleps another tote and garment bag, filled with new Draper James designs.
Items printed with cheeky Southern expressions are among the top sellers.
“People really enjoy humor, that we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Witherspoon. “Southern people are literally always joking around and teasing each other. It’s part of our culture.”
The actress-entrepreneur oohs and aahs as she unpacks a stack of jewel-toned sweaters, some embellished with pearls. Flipping through a rack of feminine dresses and Chanel-like tweed skirts and jackets, she remarks that her favorite floral fit-and-flare dress is missing, because she gave it to Taylor Swift when she attended the singer’s L.A. concert a couple days earlier.
Elle:"Is that low-viscosity rayon? With a half-loop top stitching on the hem?
Boutique Saleswoman:"Of course. It's one of a kind.
Elle:"It's impossible to use a half-loop stitching on low-viscosity rayon. It would snag the fabric. And you didn't just get it in - I saw it in the June Vogue a year ago. So if you're trying to sell it to me for full price, you've picked the wrong girl.
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