Add Reese Witherspoon to the burgeoning sisterhood of actresses-turned-lifestyle-curators. Following on the stiletto-clad heels of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and Blake Lively’s Preserve, the Oscar winner is the proud proprietor of Draper James, an clothing and housewares retailer that promises to bring “contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live.” While it’s tempting to dismiss the endeavor as yet another celebrity-backed vanity project, the brand comes bundled with an intriguing twist: Seventy percent of Draper James’s inventory is manufactured in the United States, according to CEO Andrea Hyde. The company’s eventual aim, Hyde told WWD, is to produce everything domestically, and, whenever possible, south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Witherspoon confessed to feeling “very emotional” about Draper James, chiefly because it’s named after her grandparents: Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon.
The thespian says she hopes Draper James’s Southern hospitality–infused charm will inspire shoppers to travel to Southern cities and buy goods from businesses it features on its website.
“I hope that it sort of opens people’s eyes to how much the South has changed and to all of the cultural experiences happening there,” she said. “We’re going to have City Guides but through my eyes, the places I love. We will have different Southern ambassadors that will show places to buy amazing Southern antique silver or where to find hand towels like their grandmothers had.”
Draper James will soon have a physical component, as well. A 3,000-square-foot Draper James store is currently under construction in Nashville, where it’s expected to open this fall.