If you were to make a list of the most revolutionary fashion items of the 21st century, chances are the blouse would not rank in the top 10. Button it up, tie its collar, or let it loose; layer it or wear it on its own—the average 2021 blouse does not deliver a lot of pizzazz.
Harris Reed and Etro intend to change that with their limited edition capsule collaboration, which is imbued with meaning and sensuality at every turn. Made from vintage Etro fabrics, the blouses rely on Reed’s lexicon of blouson sleeves, long ties, and the freewheeling sexiness of rock stars like Jimi Hendrix (who would surely have been a Reed customer) to Harry Styles (who currently is).
“I was really thinking about how I can continue to be sustainable, but also be able to reach a new level of fantasy and dreamscape,” Reed told me over Zoom. “When I was trying to come up with my next project, all I could think about was Etro and their amazing patterns, motifs, and heritage. I look up to Veronica [Etro] so much…she reminds me a little bit of myself.”
When you see Reed and Etro together, their kinship is unmistakable. They banter and flow with the ease of family—like one hyper glam, worldly soul split between two bodies. Even their hair, long and wavy in a goddess-like, imperfect way, is similar, which they laugh about when I bring it up. “I think we have many similarities,” Etro affirmed. “What I like about Harris is that he’s not taking fashion too seriously—that’s important: to play with fashion but also have a care behind it. He has a message of inclusivity and this deep passion.”
The designers first met on Zoom over a year ago after Reed DM’ed Etro’s P.R. with an idea: Why not turn deadstock Etro fabrics into a limited-edition collaboration? “I must say, I didn’t have any doubts,” Etro remembered. “I remember when I received his message and thought, Wow! Why not? I think fashion, right now, is in a phase that is not about being self-referential, it’s about really being open to new ideas and new people.”
Etro dug deep into the house’s archive to make a selection for the collaboration. “We picked the paisleys, some of the tulles, and some of the Lurex jacquards,” she said. “There’s a lot going on with prints and it was really captivating to see how Harris transformed them into beautiful blouses that work for everyone. The fabrics went from being deadstock to alivestock!”
Helping bring the pieces to life are a cast of Reed’s and Etro’s friends and customers including Tommy Dorfman, Lea T., and Anna Dello Russo. “I think this collaboration is everything I, as a young brand and a young designer, really strive for. This is a commercial product made in a positive way—it’s something Veronica does so well at Etro already, taking all her inspirations and ideas and translating them into something that is so wearable and still so much about dreaming, traveling, and just having fun.”
So, will there be a part two? Reed and Etro burst into smiles and laughter at the idea—a state from which many good things are born.