Reese Witherspoon has joined the ranks of leading ladies who have their own lifestyle brands -- Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively and Julianne Hough among them, but she's doing it her way. And that way is distinctly southern. On her new site, Draper James, (this a combo of her grandparents' names), Witherspoon writes that she aspires to bring "contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe, and your home, no matter where you live." She adds, "Whether it's Nashville or New Orleans, Beaufort or Birmingham, there is a special breed of charm and grace that's signature to the American South."
The Southern flavor on the site, draperjames.com, is not subtle . . . but it's fun. A set of four embroidered linen cocktail napkins ($85) is emblazoned with classic Southern sayings such as "Pleased as Punch" and "Don't mind if I do." There's jewelry including a Magnolia necklace with big magnolia flowers and gold chain ($245). The clothing is lively, colorful and flowery. A "Nashville" top boasts large, graphic blooms and a cutout back ($175) but it's already sold out, so forget about it honey child. There's an airy coral, floral tasseled "Kiawah" cover-up ($200), the larger sizes already gone, doggoneit. A handy canvas tote ($155) blares the words "Totes Y'all."
Reese, who lives in Nashville, and will open a 3,000-square-foot brick and mortar Draper James store there next fall, says, "The South is a very lively, stylish place. There's always a backyard party, a luncheon, or a family celebration that calls for getting dressed up." She adds that Southern gals, love color and prints and generally love to look put together. But the looks here, she says are not fuddy-duddy. "This is the new South for sure -- and it's a new way to look at the South," she said in an interview with Women's Wear Daily.
According to WWD, 70 percent of Draper James is made in the U.S. and the hope is to eventually produce everything in the U.S. with a focus on the South. Clothing goes from $50 for a top to $400 for a dress; jewelry ranges from $25 to $250, leather goods are from $40 to $325, and home decor, which includes sterling silver mint julep cups, frames, bowls, blankets and stationery run from $14 to $400.
The collection, overall, is feminine and cheerful. "You only get one life," says Witherspoon, "so you might as well make it pretty."