Nina Ricci taps gender-fluid designer Harris Reed

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Nina Ricci has appointed Harris Reed, the 26-year-old British-American designer known for his gender identity and creations, as creative director. His first collection for Puig’s own fashion and fragrance brand will be presented in early 2023.

“I’m honored to join the House of Nina Ricci, with its treasure trove of glamour, history and power waiting to be explored. I’m really looking forward to challenging the landscape of what femininity in fashion and beauty means in such an iconic house,” Reed said in a statement.

The appointment follows the departure of former Artistic Directors Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter in January. Known for their Caribbean-inspired color palette and houndstooth patterns, the Dutch duo were appointed in 2018 shortly after winning the Première Vision Grand Prize at the Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography and being finalists for the LVMH Prize.

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Reed is a rising star of London’s avant-garde who describes the DNA of his eponymous demi-couture brand as “romance that hasn’t become binary”. By the time he graduated from Central Saint Martins in spring 2020, he had already caught the eye of singer Harry Styles and Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. (He walked the Gucci Cruise runway in 2018, starred in a campaign for the Gucci fragrance Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur in 2019 and dressed styles for the cover of American Fashion in December 2020.) Reed presented its spring 2023 collection last week during London Fashion Week.

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Romance intertwines with Nina Ricci’s legacy: Founded in Paris in 1932, she became known for her feminine, form-fitting dresses that resembled lingerie. Spanish perfume and cosmetics giant Puig bought the brand in 1998. (Puig does not break down sales by individual house. The group generated sales of €2.58 billion in 2021, with 73 percent of sales coming from fragrances and fashion. Puig’s portfolio includes also Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier.)

Reed will work closely with new general manager of fashion and fragrance, Edwin Bodson, who joined Nina Ricci earlier this year to replace Charlotte Tasset, who is now CEO of French womenswear brand Maje. Bodson was formerly chief commercial director at JW Anderson, and his career includes stints as managing director of Alexa Chung and studio manager at Haider Ackermann, according to his LinkedIn profile. “I am very excited to be a part of this new era and to welcome Harris as the new creative director of Nina Ricci. As a gendered designer who rejects norms in search of freedom, Harris’ unique vision of amplified femininity will extend across Nina Ricci,” Bodson explained.

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