Archive for the ‘Other Projects’ Category
While in Nashville a couple of weeks ago Reese spoke to Vanderbilt University business students about starting up her Draper James company and how she manages her career. Read more below, and see the photos in our Gallery:
• Reese at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management Q&A x2
Actress Reese Witherspoon opens up to Vanderbilt business students about starting a new retail store in Nashville—and balancing the rest of her life
When actress and Nashville native Reese Witherspoon shot a movie in Atlanta several years ago—smack in the middle of a culinary and artistic renaissance—she realized there were no stores that captured those uniquely Southern experiences, everything from tailgating to sprawling Sunday suppers.
“I was being approached at that time by some big American brands to represent their businesses,” she said during a Q&A with students Oct. 27 at the Owen Graduate School of Management. “But then I thought, ‘why isn’t anybody telling these Southern stories?’”
Witherspoon’s first inclination was to start a blog showcasing the lifestyles of a new kind of Southern woman—those with a cosmopolitan bent who, like her, have come to embrace their hometowns in cities like Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans (not unlike Witherspoon’s film Sweet Home Alabama).
Continue reading this entry »
12 things we learned about Reese Witherspoon at her American Cinematheque tribute
“All Reese, all Reese, all Reese!”
Matthew McConaughey had it mostly (all) right Friday night in twisting his trademark catchphrase as he presented Reese Witherspoon with the American Cinematheque Award at the annual fundraiser for the nonprofit group.
The bulk of the ceremony, which also honored Dreamworks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, was devoted to the 39-year-old Witherspoon and the nearly 50 movies she has headlined or produced in a career dating back to her 1991 debut in Robert Mulligan’s lovely coming-of-age story “The Man in the Moon.”
Here are a dozen things we learned about Witherspoon from her many friends and colleagues:
1. Witherspoon will soon reunite with “Election” writer-director Alexander Payne for “Downsizing”, co-starring Matt Damon. Payne says he receives more compliments about “Election,” in which Witherspoon played a ferociously precocious high school student running for class president, than any other movie in his lauded career.
“Even Barack Obama told me it’s his favorite political film,” Payne said.
2. Sofia Vergara calls Witherspoon, her “Hot Pursuit” co-star, “my little pony.” She did not explain why.
3. When country music singer Kenny Chesney thinks of Witherspoon, he thinks of the song “Wild Child,” which he performed at the tribute. But he didn’t explain whether it was because she starred in a movie called “Wild” or because Witherspoon reminds him of the song’s lyrics, (“a spirit that can’t be tamed, a calico pony on an open plain.”) Wait … there’s that pony thing again!
4. Kate Hudson first met Witherspoon at the premiere of “Man in the Moon,” where she watched the young actress work the after-party “like a seasoned politician.” (Witherspoon did the same thing at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza’s ballroom Friday, graciously welcoming dozens of the 800 people in attendance.)
5. The words Hudson heard most early in her career: “It’s between you and Reese” or “Well … Reese has the offer. But if she passes, it might come to you.”
6. Witherspoon will not let guests get away with singing just any old Christmas song like “Frosty the Snowman” at her annual holiday party. “No,” Hudson says, “it’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’ ”
7. Apparently, Witherspoon’s husband, CAA agent Jim Toth, can’t sing. Or, at least not well. He’s not allowed to participate in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
8. Witherspoon yells at Laura Dern, who played her mom in “Wild,” for not being on social media more. And for using brown lipstick.
9. Dern’s mother, actress Diane Ladd, and Witherspoon’s mom, Betty (who sat next to her daughter at the Cinematheque event), are tight. Dern believes Witherspoon has an innate desire to take care of other people because she “grew up in a home of healthcare providers.”
10. Legendary music man T Bone Burnett had a feeling Witherspoon would win the Best Actress Oscar for playing June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line” when he heard her let out an “actual blood-curdling scream” in frustration after wrestling with the classic Carter Family folk song “Wildwood Flower.”
“All the birds flew away,” Burnett remembered of Witherspoon’s cry.
11. Robert Downey Jr. would very much like to order the Bessie Bow table runner from Witherspoon’s clothing and home store Draper James, but he can’t get his credit card to work.
12. Two of Witherspoon’s three children — 16-year-old Ava and 12-year-old Deacon — can’t get enough of this 1991 Entertainment Tonight video, in which a young Reese talks about how much fun it will be to go to the video store in 30 years and rent “The Man in the Moon” on laserdisc and watch it with her kids.
“I thought that was the best moment of my life,” Witherspoon said from the stage. “I was wrong about that. Some days I still can’t believe that I get to do this, that I get to be a storyteller in this world. It is the greatest privilege of my life.”
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.
Continue reading this entry »
Reese made an appearance on The Today Show yesterday to promote Draper James again; below is the TV segment and an extended interview from the show. At the end of the post is another video about Draper James from The Today Show, which I think might’ve aired earlier in the year.
Reese Witherspoon tours her new store, reveals what her kids find ‘mortifying’
Reese Witherspoon often comes across as the ultimate Southern belle. But the Nashville-born actress admits she’s not always so refined at home, much to the dismay of her children.
“Well, I like to have dance party in the morning. Because I drink coffee in the night, I have lots of energy,” the Oscar-winning actress told TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager recently. “And it’s mortifying to my children.”
Also embarrassing, particularly to her teenage daughter, are the trendy hashtags or acronyms Witherspoon likes to use when texting or on social media — like YOLO.
“Or LOL, BRB,” she said with a laugh. “Ava’s like, ‘Oh my God, you have got to stop.'”
Witherspoon opened up to Hager during a tour of her new Nashville storefront for her business, Draper James, which sells a line of Southern-inspired women’s apparel, accessories and home accents.
Witherspoon said it can be difficult balancing her Hollywood career with her recent job as a business owner, but she said she always makes sure she makes her family her top priority.
“The kids come first, no matter what,” she said. “My kids are so wonderful. I mean, they’ve been so supportive of what I do as a filmmaker, what I’ve been doing as an entrepreneur.”
Continue reading this entry »
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.)
Continue reading this entry »
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.”
Continue reading this entry »
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.
Continue reading this entry »
Reese Witherspoon Talks About Her Southern Lifestyle Site Draper James
Reese Witherspoon may dazzle the general populace–People Magazine recently named her the Best Dressed Person of 2015–but venture investors weren’t star-struck when the actress first pitched them on her idea for Southern-lifestyle startup Draper James.
In fact, Forerunner Ventures founder Kirsten Green–an investor in Bonobos Inc., Birchbox Inc. and Dollar Shave Club Inc.–said she initially put Ms. Witherspoon’s celebrity status in the “con category.”
“Founding a company is the hardest thing you can possibly do. It takes an enormous amount of sheer will, and with celebrities who have so many things they could spend their time doing, you question whether you can count on them being there,” Ms. Green said.
After a series of meetings with the star of “Walk the Line” and the “Legally Blonde” movies and questioning a handful of Hollywood executives who knew her well, Ms. Green said she was convinced Ms. Witherspoon would be deeply involved for the duration. Ms. Green quickly decided to lead a $10 million round to bankroll the startup’s expansion.
The infusion comes a few months after Draper James launched its e-commerce site and marks the latest in a series of celebrity led consumer Internet startups to capture venture cash and confidence.
The Wall Street Journal spoke with the actress-turned-startup founder about her responsibilities as creative director and what it means to dress Southern. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What prompted you to launch Draper James?
About three years ago when I was traveling between Atlanta and Nashville, I started noticing how much was happening culturally in the South with museums, music venues and restaurants. At that same time I was approached by two Northeast brands to represent them. I don’t know the Hamptons, but I do know the South and I realized there was a white space to tell that story.
Continue reading this entry »
(Page: 10 of 13) « First «...4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 »