Academy award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon staked a claim on Dallas last week when she opened the second location of her luxury fashion and lifestyle brand, Draper James, in Highland Park Village. The store is all about celebrating Southern living: The word "ya'll" appears on numerous articles of clothing and accessories, and shoppers are treated to complimentary sweet tea.
The first Draper James went up in Witherspoon’s hometown of Nashville. They decided on Dallas for the second store because costumer analytics revealed they already had a large customer base here.
Andrea Hyde, Draper James' CEO, says the brand's personality and aesthetics are a natural match for Dallas women. “The Dallas woman is charming and she’s witty and she’s gracious, and that very much aligned with our brand," she says.
Witherspoon enlisted LA-based interior designer Mark Sikes to create an atmosphere at the store that is “warm, comfortable and inviting” — characteristics that Hyde says embody the Southern home. The bright store has a blue and white color scheme, patterned wallpaper and elegant light fixtures.
The floor plan is fairly open, but it's also evocative of a home. The checkout desk resembles a kitchen island and even includes bar stools. The sitting area located in the rear of the store next to the fitting room is reminiscent of a living room. It features a framed print of balloons spelling out “Howdy," which Witherspoon commissioned Dallas-raised photographer Gary Malin to create.
“This brand was rooted in Reese’s Southern heritage so we wanted to make sure when you walked into the store you felt like you were walking into Reese’s home or into her grandmother’s home and you were served a sweet tea,” says Hyde.
The lively prints, bright colors and Southern jargon that make up the physical store extend to Draper James' products too. The clothing features an array of flower prints and checkered patterns, in both classic and more modern silhouettes.
While the clothing selection includes many summer dresses, rompers and shorts to stay cool in the hot Texan sun, Hyde says Draper James aims to offers pieces that can be worn in any season. “We make sure we have very transitional fabrics and lots of layering,” Hyde says.
Southern language such as the word "y'all" appears on multiple T-shirts and accessories in the store, including a timely sweater and tote that says “Vote y’all" and guest towels that read “It’s fall y’all."
Dallas’ football and fashion loving socialites might also find Draper James' tailgating collection of special interest. The collection offers clothing, accessories and home items such as snack bowls, tumbler and glass sets, and coolers, in popular team colors including blue and white, orange and white, and black and gold.
“We felt [tailgating] was a very important part of the lifestyle in the South so we wanted Draper James tailgating to give you a kind of 360 experience of it, which means we have your home products, your really colorful sweaters, and you have your dresses that you can all wear to tailgating,” Hyde says.
Whether it be a dress, a coaster set or a cooler to take to game day, all Draper James products have one thing in common: They are fun and feminine. “We like to be unapologetically pretty,” Hyde says.
Draper James, 6 Highland Park Village, draperjames.com.
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