If there’s one thing Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon knows best, it’s Southern hospitality. In between shooting her next film and working with the Draper James team, the star and Southern belle talked to us about the Draper James aesthetic, and why she chose Dallas as the first location to expand the Nashville-based brand.
The Draper James label epitomizes the Southern lifestyle. Are there any new or seasonal products, pieces and/or designs you’re most excited about for fall or winter?
I work hand in hand with the design team and I love seeing the sketches come to life. At Draper James we are committed to bringing the Southern lifestyle to everyone. For fall we launched our first-ever Tailgating Collection which includes accessories, clothing and party necessities in an array of school colors—the main message for the collection is “Go Y’all” which sums up true Southern spirit. I am also excited for the holiday housewares collection to launch which includes the perfect hostess gifts for any event and of course, items with lots of cheeky Southern sayings.
Generally speaking, do you have any favorite designs, products or accessories that you either can’t live without, or that are particularly special to you?
The “Totes Y’all” tote is our most iconic product and fully showcases my vision for the brand—it’s quintessentially Southern, but it also shows a sense of humor. We have also perfected the fit n’ flare dress and I am always excited to wear the latest design from the new collections. Our prints are special too; many are inspired by things from my grandmother, like our bird print from last spring which copied a small embroidered bird from one of her handkerchiefs.
This Highland Park boutique will the brand’s first expansion from its flagship store in Tennessee. Why choose Dallas as the second location, and what makes the in-store shopping experience unique?
The plan was always to open our second store in Texas. We have had a huge number of loyal and enthusiastic customers since we launched online, and they have been asking us to come to Dallas. The in-store shopping experience allows us to bring the Draper James brand to life. Interior designer Mark Sikes, who is also designing my Nashville home, oversaw the design of the Dallas boutique, in addition to the flagship store in Nashville. When our customers walk in the door, they will immediately feel warm and welcomed as if they were just invited over to my house for a glass of sweet tea.
How familiar are you with Dallas and/or Texas? What do you like about the city and/or its people, and what do you love about the South?
My grandfather, James Witherspoon, was from Midlothian Texas. I remember traveling in the summers to visit my great grandma Lulu Witherspoon and how we would spend days on the back porch overlooking the bluebonnets in her garden. I also spent a lot of time as a child in San Antonio going to summer camp. I have fond memories of how warm and friendly everyone in Texas was. I still feel like part of my heart lives in Texas.
This lifestyle brand is named after your grandparents. What are a few pieces of advice from them that you try to live by today, and what do you think they’d say about the Draper James collection?
My grandparents, Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon, were the greatest influences in my life. They taught me how to dress and act like a lady, to take pride in my home and to reach out and help a neighbor.
What 3-5 adjectives describe the Draper James aesthetic?
Charming, witty, and gracious
What can visitors and shoppers look forward to at the Draper James Dallas store, and is there anything that makes this location unique?
The Draper James Dallas boutique is an experience; from the moment you walk in the door you will immediately feel that “down-South” warmth. Of course, we will serve up our signature homemade sweet tea to all who visit. We want people to come in and stay a while! One thing that is unique to the [Highland Park Village] boutique will be an exclusive photograph by artist [and Dallas native], Gray Malin.