Illustration by Peter Oumanski

Every issue, GRAZIA USA highlights Game Changers, who inspire, educate, and celebrate individuality, beauty, and style. Meet Harris Reed, the British-American designer shaking up the fashion industry. 

I went into this business knowing I didn’t want to do it like anyone else. I wanted to do what felt right — not just to me, but to my community, and to what was going on in the world around me.

A lot of that came down to avoiding the traditional design route. It’s a beautiful thing when you have a business that’s truly reflective of who you are. I don’t go into anything that doesn’t reflect who I am, who my business is, and who my customer is. I go with what feels right.

It hasn’t been a jump; it’s been a deep plunge. We have a roadmap of where the brand’s going. The goal is to continue to grow a queer, outspoken, fluid brand that specializes in demi-couture, being sustainable with limited drops, made-to-measure, and really rewriting the fashion system.

I came out when I was nine and started exploring fashion to reclaim my identity. Everyone was labeling me as gay before I even knew what that was. I used fashion as my toolbox to shine and give light to the next chapter of my life. Then, it fell into making my own clothes.

When I moved to London, I made an outfit for a night out with friends, and that outfit is now in permanent ownership of the V&A Museum. It’s currently on display in the Fashioning Masculinities exhibition. That was the first look I made for myself. When I was identifying as they/them, I felt unrepresented by the fashion industry, so I began making looks to go out to events and parties when I didn’t have anything to wear.

Then, I started working with people like Harry Styles, Adele, and Selena Gomez — people who believed in my vision and what I stood for — an incredible army of stylists and editors, like Katie Grand and Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou; powerful individuals who exude this love and desire to help and nurture talent.

London has been where I’ve been able to grow on my own terms, and grow a business I’m proud of, while writing the rules in a different way. It’s been incredible to see the industry take notice. When I was at Saint Martins, my teachers would say, “You’re a costume designer. Who’s going to buy this?”

Now I can say, “This is the next chapter.” With the metaverse and everything happening in the world right now, my customer is emerging. I see that through my sales and my business. It’s been an incredible, organic, and fluid journey.

I talk about being fluid, but I have a savvy business mind. I don’t think I would be 25, running a company with employees during a global pandemic, doing big hats and fabulous boots if I didn’t have a business brain.

We’re continuing to do my version of a “fashion show,” which is more about being a performative, immersive experience to make people dream, bringing back the early days of Westwood and McQueen, making fashion a dreamscape again.

We’re continuing to work with another caliber of celebrity, getting that message out of what I do and who I am. We have some clever, unexpected collaborations, big projects, and takeovers in the works, as well as exciting things ahead in jewelry and fashion.

I have a loving partner, and we try to go to the countryside, or to the park anytime we can. I take my platforms off, dig my toes into the soil and just breathe to get out of the grind. I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books. I’m into anything about calming, letting go, and going with the natural flow of life.

It was a natural progression when this world of VIP clientele jumped on board with what I stand for: wanting to feel fluid, and beautiful, continuing the journey of the brand.

Pick up GRAZIA USA’s Summer 2022 issue on newsstands and email to subscribe.