Reagan Hayes has become a modern tastemaker by reinterpreting classic fashion pieces with a contemporary twist. As a budding fashion designer based in New York, Hayes has garnered attention for her ability to give new life to vintage styles. Here is an in-depth look at how she is reimagining some of fashion’s most iconic looks.
Reagan Hayes grew up surrounded by vintage fashion. Her mother owned a consignment boutique stocked with one-of-a-kind pieces, which ignited Hayes’ passion for fashion history. After studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Hayes set out to establish her own label that would bridge past and present.
Hayes describes her design ethos as “reinventing classics for the modern woman.” By taking familiar silhouettes and fabrics and updating them subtly, she pays homage to the original while keeping the look fresh and relevant. Her line offers modern women a way to incorporate iconic styles into their everyday wardrobes.
Reinterpreting the Little Black Dress
The little black dress is one of fashion’s most enduring staples. Hayes has put her own spin on this classic by playing with proportions. Her signature LBD features an asymmetrical hem with a slight high-low effect. The unexpectedly uneven hemline gives visual interest while the black color and simple silhouette keep the look timeless.
Hayes experiments with fabrics too – one version comes in a crepe-satin blend for added luminosity. She sometimes accents the LBD with unexpected details like lace-up sides or an organza ruffle shoulder for flair. Her updated take makes the little black dress feel new again.
Giving the Pencil Skirt a Twist
Another wardrobe essential Hayes has reworked is the classic pencil skirt. Known for its lean, body-skimming silhouette, the pencil skirt got an update with Hayes’ fresh proportions. She shortened the hemline to a more modern midi length while keeping the narrow fit.
The updated pencil skirt comes in vibrant colors and prints, veering away from basic black. Hayes uses diagonal side stripes, abstract brush strokes, and floral patterns to give this classic skirt a graphic, modern feel. The tailored style provides structure while the prints and colors inject personality.
Modernizing the Trench Coat
As a timeless, functional piece, the trench coat is synonymous with chic, effortless style. Hayes offers her take on the trench by leaning into an oversized, androgynous shape. Staying true to the signature trench details like lapels, epaulets, and storm flaps, she enlarges the proportions for a contemporary look.
Her trench coats come in neutral camel and black, but also branch out into more daring hues like emerald green and pale pink. The coats are roomy but still cinched at the waist to balance the volume. Hayes’ trench coats blend fashion-forward styling with the practicality that has made this garment endure decade after decade.
The New Suit Set
The suit set – comprising a blazer and trousers – has long been a staple for women in both work and formal settings. Hayes saw an opportunity to take the primness out of suits by using menswear-inspired fabrics and relaxed silhouettes.
Her suit sets feature boxy, oversized blazers with wide lapels and loose trousers cut from wool, tweed, and linen. The pieces can be mixed and matched for versatility. While styled intentionally oversized, subtle waist detailing and shoulder padding maintain structure and femininity. Hayes managed to soften the stiffness of traditional suits while retaining their polish and sophistication.
Giving Denim the Designer Treatment
Denim holds a place in every modern woman’s closet thanks to its versatility and comfort. So Hayes opted to elevate this casual fabric by giving it the luxury treatment through considered details and finishes.
Her denim pieces use high-quality raw, selvedge denim sourced from heritage mills in Italy and Japan. The jeans feature waistband branding, signature back pocket stitching, customized hardware, and hand-distressing. Hayes also experiments with denim in non-traditional forms like a demure denim day dress or a patchwork denim jumpsuit. The thoughtful design details transform denim into a designer statement.
Modernizing Historical References
Key fashion moments and archetypes throughout history inform many of Hayes’ most inventive designs. Take her bold graphic tee titled “The Activist,” featuring a colorful collage of female activists across the decades. With this single piece, she encapsulates women’s fight for equality.
For her trousers aptly named “Suffragette,” Hayes used vintage-inspired pinstripes as a callback to the boldly fashionable women who fought for voting rights in the early 1900s. By gleaning inspiration from impactful fashion histories, Hayes makes the past feel relevant today.
Reagan Hayes has proven herself as an innovative voice in fashion by bridging heritage and progress through her label’s thoughtfully designed pieces. Her ability to pay homage to classic items while reinterpreting them for the modern world has struck a chord. Hayes has carved out a niche reimagining iconic staples in ways that make them feel fresh and current again. Her mission of reinventing classics for the modern woman propels fashion into the future while honoring the past.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Reagan Hayes’ design ethos?
Reagan Hayes’ design ethos centers around “reinventing classics for the modern woman.” She aims to reinterpret iconic vintage fashion pieces in a contemporary, relevant way.
How does Hayes update the little black dress?
Hayes updates the little black dress by playing with proportions – such as adding an asymmetrical hem – and using unique fabrics like crepe-satin blends. Unexpected details like lace-up sides modernize the LBD.
What is unique about Hayes’ take on pencil skirts?
Hayes reimagines the classic pencil skirt by shortening the length to a modern midi-length and using graphic prints and vibrant colors instead of basic black. This gives the tailored silhouette a twist.
What details modernize Hayes’ version of a trench coat?
Hayes keeps the trench coat’s signature details but enlarges the proportions for an oversized, androgynous shape. She also uses bold colors like emerald green instead of traditional tan and black.
How does Hayes update traditional suit sets?
Hayes modernizes suits by using relaxed, boxy silhouettes and menswear fabrics like wool, tweed, and linen. The mix-and-match pieces have an intentionally oversized look.
What makes Hayes’ denim feel luxe?
Hayes uses high-quality selvedge denim from heritage mills and adds thoughtful details like custom hardware and hand-distressing. This elevates her denim pieces.
Where does Hayes draw inspiration for her most inventive designs?
Hayes gleans inspiration from key fashion moments and archetypes throughout history, like female activists or suffragettes. She translates those references into modern pieces.