Tracy Reese was feeling nostalgic Wednesday night as she celebrated her flagship’s five year anniversary. “I remember when we had our opening party,” Reese said. “I was trying to put things to bed at the office to get down here for the party but I got here 15 minutes late. Then it turned out that Anna Wintour got here 15 minutes earlier and totally was leaving as I walked in the door! I just still can’t believe I wasn’t there when she got here,” she confessed.
Clearly, Reese has come a long way since her self-described fashion faux pas, with a client list including celebs from Alicia Keys to Michelle Obama. “I still have a total freak out when I see Michelle wearing my clothes,” she said.
Still, this time around Reese made sure she wasn’t late to the fete and had plenty of time to hang with Anna. Sui, that is. “We’ve always had a great connection, maybe because we’re both from Detroit,” said Sui, who was happy to escape the heat and browse her friend’s store. While partygoers filtered into the store for refreshing cucumber vodka cocktails and spiked lemonade, we got to chat with Tika Sumpter about accompanying Reese to this week’s CFDA awards. “We were sitting next to Vera Wang and I felt like a fan in a world I just didn’t know,” admitted the bubbly Gossip Girl. Kate Betts, who came straight from her son’s little league practice, also had the CFDA’s on her mind. “I told my kids I would get them a picture of Lady Gaga, but then I saw she was wearing that studded thong,” she laughed.
Between bites of mushroom tarts and mini cupcakes for dessert, we spotted a noticeably less made-up Tinsley Mortimer, who was browsing the merch with her sister, Dabney Mercer. Perhaps her XOJane makeunder stuck? “I prefer less makeup now,” Mortimer confessed. “The experience totally changed me. Tonight I did my makeup myself and it took about five minutes,” she said. Other shoppers included stylist June Ambrose, who gave us tips on looking chic even as temperatures reach unbearable highs this week. “Wear your hair curly and conditioner is your friend,” she said while taking a break from pictures. Meanwhile, Reese fans were enjoying 25 percent off the store’s three collections: Tracy Reese, Plenty, and Frock! by Tracy Reese. A portion of the night’s sales will benefit the New York City Aids Fund.
Wednesday’s party isn’t the only way Reese is marking the store’s anniversary. In honor of the milestone, the designer is selling her favorite Jennifer Oullette hats at the Hudson Street shop and has created a limited edition necklace with jewelry designer Gerard Yosca. And what about more stores in New York City and beyond? “Since we sell all three collections here, in the future I’d like to break off into separate stores,” said Reese. “I’d love to have a dedicated Plenty store and a dedicated TR store. That’s something that will happen in the future.”
If you missed the private soiree, Reese is hosting two public shopping parties on Jun 16 and June 23 from 5 pm to 8 pm to personally thank her fans for a successful five years. Both events will feature flash sales and trunk shows, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the New York City AIDSFund.