Designer Harris Reed: Harry Styles proved people are ready for a change
The former One Direction star first wore his clothes on stage in 2017.
Fashion designer Harris Reed has said Harry Styles wearing his gender-fluid clothes proved “people are ready for a change”.
Reed, the son of Oscar-winning documentary film producer Nicholas Reed, is known for making designs that challenge gender norms and ideas of masculinity.
In 2020, he was asked by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to design an outfit for the singer when he became the first man to feature solo on the magazine’s cover.
Reed, who identifies as gender-fluid but currently uses the pronouns he/him, opted for a dress, sparking both praise and controversy among the public and media.
The Central Saint Martins-educated designer recalled first working with Styles during an interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK.
He said: “When Harry first wore my designs on stage in 2017, my Instagram followers jumped 100,000 in about an hour.
“It made my teachers at the time shut up about there being no commerciality in fluidity, and it stopped everyone calling me a costume designer or saying I had unrealistic dreams.
“It was like, ‘You know what? People are ready for change’.”
Reed told the publication that “every single day is a fight when you’re the outlier” but added that it is “worth the fight”.
He added: “It’s hard to hear things like: ‘Ew, that’s gross, why is there a man in a dress?’, or to make some people realise that wearing a blouse doesn’t mean that you’re anything more than someone who just wants to have fun with fashion.”
Discussing the idea of gender-fluidity, Reed said: “Who is your most authentic self? For me, this is what gender-fluidity is all about.
“It’s a space where you’re not abiding by any societal rules of being a set gender with pre-empted expectations of who you should be.”
For its April issue, Harper’s Bazaar UK features a special cover marking the V&A’s new exhibition, Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear, featuring Reed wearing one of his creations.
The collectors’ edition is available at the V&A and via the museum’s online shop.
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