Elizabeth Street Meets Jules Reid
She may be new to the fashion scene, but designer and mom Jules Reid strikes the right balance of preppy and pretty in her summer-ready collection
Fashion designer Jules Reid is fast becoming the go-to designer of playful resortwear for places like St. Bart’s, Martha’s Vineyard and Palm Beach. And we think every mom should have at least one of Reid’s Pucci-inspired patterns and chic silhouettes on hand. There’s nothing like a blue geometric jumpsuit to break you out of a fashion rut! Reid, who splits her time between New York City and Virginia, convinces us there’s no reason for mothers to wait until vacation to sport their chic designs.
Tell us about your path to becoming a designer.
Out of college, I was a stockbroker for over 10 years. It was a great career, but the thing I always loved was fashion, so I would spend all the free time I had going to vintage stores and learning as much as I could about past and contemporary designers. It just became this huge hobby for me. I knew that I eventually wanted to have my own label. Then I got married and had three boys and during that time I had an interior design firm. I was good at mixing and matching and putting together colors you would have never imagined. I turned 40 in 2008 and it was this feeling of "now or never" so literally the next week I started coming up to New York. I launched the line in September 2009.
Who are your design inspirations?
Number one is Emilio Pucci. I collect a lot of vintage Oscar de la Renta. I also love Missoni and Lanvin. My favorite vintage store is Deluxe on Lexington Avenue. It has great jewelry and Lucite furniture.
How has being a mom influenced your style?
I think my designs are bold but not seductive. Being a mom, I want a classic look. I wouldn't want to have something in my closet that I wouldn't wear in front of my children.
What will you be living in from your spring/summer collection?
Hands down, the Liza dress. I wear that at least once a week. It makes me feel so old-world and I love the detail—it’s lined in this really soft cotton so I wear it all the time. The other piece I’m really excited about is the York catsuit, which comes in seven different prints.
What are the essentials every mom should have in her closet?
A great pair of Manolos is so transitional; you can throw them on with everything. My favorite is this pair of dark blue pumps I have. No matter what you're invited to, you need a simple black dress and a long gown to throw on. And of course, vintage necklaces—I have hooks in my closet carrying vintage necklace after vintage necklace.
How do you balance work with motherhood?
It’s all melded together. The boys are used to going around with me in the city, to see the trunk shows for work. They are the hit of the whole thing. It makes them feel proud when they see me in action! —Melissa Schweiger