Reese Cooper is growing up.
Although his fall collection still had a youthful feel with its utilitarian references and bold prints, his exploration of tailoring — pleated pants and blazers — along with menswear classic plaid and herringbone patterns, which were hand-drawn by the Los Angeles-based designer, showed a shift to a more-grown-up experience.
But within these pieces, the Reese Cooper aesthetic still shined through. For example, the collection, which was titled “Two Steps Forward,” offered wide-leg silhouettes in the trousers in exploded plaids that he paired with jackets made from ripstock. So while they were dressier than his work in the past, they were still targeted to a younger, more adventurous customer.
“This is the type of thing I’m gravitating to now,” said the young designer, who admitted that he’s growing up and has a new outlook on life. This new outlook led him to explore fabrics, prints and silhouettes that he had never worked with before and get rid of the “safety net” that had defined his work in prior seasons. “It was a test to see if I could do it and be happy with the result, and I am,” he said.
Most of the pieces were gender-fluid, including the varsity jackets, which were among the statement pieces in the collection. The line also included a seasonal camo print that was etched from a pine tree with the brand’s logo within it.
In addition to the apparel, Cooper expanded his offering of footwear, introducing a duck boot called the Lanier Boot, named after his time spent on the shores of Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta.
Cooper was originally planning to show in Paris this season but the COVID-19 variant made him change his plans. Instead, the designer unveiled the fall collection during a 12-hour livestream on Instagram that gave a behind-the-scenes peek at his look book shoot. To drum up interest in the collection, Cooper dropped an exclusive capsule that he named “Logistics Dept.” on Instagram Live during the livestream.
“The livestream turned out to be super-ambitious,” Cooper said, adding that he had only finished the collection a few hours before he had to be on camera for 12 hours. “But it was a fun process, and I felt it was important to show the process since this collection was such an evolution for me.”