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BACK TO BLACK: Tracy Reese is bringing back her Black Label eveningwear collection for fall. Originally launched in 2008, the line was forced to shutter soon after as a result of the slumping economy. “We got a great response initially, but the market got soft really quickly,” the designer said of the label’s first introduction. “The buyers just started cutting out a lot of the fun stuff, the more over-the-top-stuff and the more expensive stuff, at the end of the day.”

Now Reese said she sees renewed opportunity for an elevated dress line. “A chasm opened up between our day customer and our evening customer,” she said. “A lot of sportswear buyers are becoming more and more [casual-oriented]; it’s just how we’re dressing and how we feel. But for the woman who’s got someplace to go, she’s out in the cold. She needs to go to stores or departments that specialize in evening. It was a perfect time to readdress that. We always have an element of evening in the [ready-to-wear] collection, but this allows me to expand on that and be true to that segment of the business,” Reese explained.

The collection offers a modern take on evening with cocktail dresses, gowns and separates in “real shapes that are easy to wear,” but done in rich fabrics like duchess satin and metallic jacquards with glass beading and faux-feather fringe embellishment. “I hate the idea of being some other person at night than I am during the day,” Reese said. “Comfort is super important to me. We all want to look striking and get noticed, but you don’t want to suffer through a whole event….Any of these styles you could wear with flat shoes.”

Offered at a slightly higher price point than her rtw collection, Black Label ranges from $348 to $1,318 and will be available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Anthropologie and Rent the Runway this fall.

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