Fashion designer Harris Reed on identity, sexuality and style

Fashion designer Harris Reed feels that many of her clothes are “empowered by the shame that queer people feel.”

Known for designs that challenge gender norms and notions of masculinity, eed is best known for creating one of the dresses Harry Styles wore during his Vogue photoshoot.

He also dressed Beyoncé for the 2022 British Vogue cover, Adele for the Oh My God music video, and designed one of the outfits for her Las Vegas residency.


(Silvana Trevale/Elle UK/PA)

The British-American designer told Elle UK:

“Sometimes I’m a fine line when it comes to putting pieces on cisgender straight women. But at the same time, I think it starts a conversation.

“Many of my textures, colors and silhouettes are things that queer people may not be comfortable wearing outdoors.

“I want to own the fact that I feel safe, so I have an obligation to push that level of ‘extreme’. Because I know that realistically it won’t come back and punch me in the face.

“So we’re going to make the most of that security.”

Reid also reflected on the positive reaction from her mother when she told her that she was gay as a child, saying that it was “really great” to have this support.

“I remember wearing rhinestone Havaianas to lunch in the men’s bathroom and covering my legs because people kept tormenting me.”


(Silvana Trevale/Elle UK/PA)

Born in the United States to Oscar-winning documentary film producer Nicholas Reed and artist Lynette Reed, he later studied at London’s prestigious fashion school, Central Saint Martins.

He told the magazine that he moved to London when he was introduced to other gender identities and styles.

Reed said: I think very basic.

“It was the first time I met a transgender person. The first time I met a non-binary person.

“I had a friend who was pansexual and polyamorous. I realized that.”

Reid was recently named the new creative director of fashion house Nina Ricci after winning an award for creativity from the British Fashion Council last month.

You can read the full interview on Elle UK.

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