Canadian designer Reese De Luca has had a decade long run in fashion on both sides of the border. It's almost unfair to call him an "emerging designer." Soccer icon Leo Messi once claimed it took him 17 years to be an overnight success. To quote another creative Canuck, the 6 God himself - "You know how that shit go."
An alum from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, De Luca started his fashion career by turning his obsession with Juicy Couture into shooting his shot. After just one month of interning at Juicy, Reese quickly moved up to the assistant designer.
De Luca’s work caught the eye of Victoria Beckham in 2004. Her love for his fabrics and techniques sparked a unique friendship amongst the two. This was just the start of his noteworthy trajectory. In 2011, De Luca was named Design Director for Justin Timberlake’s menswear line William Rast. He took over as Design Director for Buffalo Jeans in 2013, before deciding his brain needed to flex, resulting in his solo capsule work under the name De La Commune, which would later become his eponymous line, Reese De Luca.
Reese turned his over 14 years of knowledge and guidance as a compendium to draw from when building RD’s inspo. The playful, non-binary, oversized & fluid aesthetic, which De Luca calls “themswear” was always in his head. It’s now also on a good deal of actual humans in both Canada & the States.
It’s important for Reese to pay it forward and inspire others and with his inventive use of fabrics and attention to detail. He is a champion in, and of, the LGBTQ community, telling stories through his work, inspired by those who have come before him, and seeks to lay the tracks for those who will come after.
I caught up with RDL this week to chop it up and pitch him seven questions. He’s a wildly interesting cat. Read on to see what I mean.
AX: Where you from? Where do you work? More importantly, what brought you there?
RD: I was born in Montréal, Canada but I feel like I’m more a “person of the world” at this point after living in so many places. I’ve had some version of my own brand since I was 16 years old when I launched an accessories capsule. It’s just evolved over the years as I grew with all the experiences I kinda went through. I know who I am as a designer now...and what I stand for. I couldn’t have done that without the adventures I’ve been through. Experience is really the only thing one can base the tripod and lens on.
AX: When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
RD: I worked for a local fashion designer at 16 and knew then and there that it was what I wanted. I haven’t deviated since and I think that’s what helps me stay so driven.
AX: What are the three songs you can't stop listening to?
RD: Lana, generally, all day. Lana is just a huuuge inspiration to me and her music just makes me want to create. Lately my rotation features these three bops. Mutya Keisha Siobhan (former members of the forgotten UK's early 2000's pop group Sugababes) has made a rotation return as well. That Y2K candyfloss energy is all the way back.
"High by the Beach" Lana Del Rey
"Dark Paradise" Lana Del Rey
AX: Okay, God parts the heavens and gives you your greatest wish. Dinner & drinks with any fashion personality past or present - who is it and where are you eating & drinking, brother ?
RD: Victoria Beckham! It’s a long story but we met at a fashion show and since then we met up a handful of times and she wore my brand on a few occasions. So i’d love to catch up and have some coconut water cocktails and sushi and just talk about where fashion has taken us these past 10 years. I don’t think it would matter where we were eating because my attention would be elsewhere.
AX: If you didn't have your own brand - what 3 houses/designers/brands would you love to design for?
RD: I would normally have said Alexander Wang but I’m not sure if that’s ok anymore after all those groping scandals, haha. His brand is pretty cool though and I love his aesthetic.
I started my first official “corporate” job after college with Juicy Couture. I was obsessed with the brand and working for them as assistant designer was a dream. I would love to collab with them in the future and if I didn’t have my own brand, I could see myself as part of the Juicy team.
I love what Pangaia is doing in terms of fabric development and nature conservation and everything they stand for. The new fabrics they’ve developed are amazing and working with them would be so cool. I feel like it would be working in fashion but also equal parts mad science.
AX: What are your favorite 3 pieces that you've designed on SOULER right now?
RD: First, I'd say the Kim Pullover Hoodie in Lavender Frost Pullover drop-shoulder hoodie with bungee hem. It can be worn cinched for a more fitted look.
Shop the piece. Click the image above.
Second, I'd have to go with the socks. They just really pop any outfit off. I went very "summer of 95" with the tie-dye and centered exterior chunky throwback logo.
Discover the range & collection, click the image above.
My third selection I really dig would have to be the Acid Wash Hoodie. The perfect hoodie should be the backbone of any wardrobe. This one has really premium, nuanced luxe elements like hidden pockets, a jersey-lined hood and a hand-dipped wash. Super soft so it's seasonally versatile. I love playing with textures and fabrics.
Shop the piece. Click the image above.
AX: So for the wrap up, or roll up question, as it were, we're going a tad divergent from fabric and swapping it for flower. You're a Canadian, whats the best strain we need to be smoking? Put the Yankee homies on.
RD: I’m a shatter/rosin kind of guy and my absolute fave strain right now is Moon Rocks because it has Sailor Moon on the packaging and I’m a sucker for anything Sailor Moon.
Dude, We have some really strong weed here so I’m thankful it’s legal and everywhere here.