After Working at Juicy Couture, William Rast, and Buffalo Jeans, Designer Reese De Luca Strikes Out on His Own (Interview)

November 2, 2016

After graduating from FIDM in 2003, with a degree in Merchandise Product Development, Reese De Luca began interning at Juicy Couture. Within a month, he had moved up to Assistant Designer. His past positions include serving as Head Designer for Justin Timberlake's William Rast label, Design Director for Buffalo Jeans, and creating his own solo capsule collections. In 2014, he started his own brand, DE LA COMMUNE by Reese De Luca, with his partner Daniel Arango. The androgynous designer luxury brand "pushes the envelope of leisure" and is hand sewn entirely in Los Angeles. 

Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Montreal, Canada, but have also lived in Vancouver, Boston, and Los Angeles. I currently live in Montreal, but I am usually in Los Angeles around four months a year. I travel a lot back and forth.

How did you first hear about FIDM?
I google searched fashion design schools and it was the top on the list. The idea of living in LA really appealed to me so it was my top choice.

What are some of your favorite FIDM memories?
I miss all the projects we did at FIDM. I really enjoyed having to do research and present the projects. I also made some close connections to teachers and miss the daily interaction with other people who are passionate about fashion.

Did FIDM help you gain any internships or jobs? 
My first major job out of college was for Juicy Couture in their merchandising department. That was all thanks to my Career Adviser who knew I wanted to work there and told me about it right away.

You've worked for some major brands. Do you have any favorite past positions? 
Working as Design Director for Buffalo Jeans was one of my favorite jobs. It was very fast-paced and I was in charge of two collections. I had a team under me and it was exciting to present a new collection every two months. I also got to travel to Europe a lot, which was awesome.

What inspired you to start your own line?
I’ve worked for some amazing brands and people. I’ve learned so much over the course of my career and I knew that I had a very distinct and defined point of view. I felt it was time to take destiny in my own hands. I love fashion, but I also love being comfortable. Usually there are huge extremes between comfort and fashion. Athleisure has helped combine the too but it has the definite sports vibe. We wanted to do luxury designer fashion that was also super comfortable and something you wanted to live in all the time.

What are your ultimate goals for the label? 
We would love to open up a flagship store at some point, either in Los Angeles or London. We have plans to grow the brand into a full lifestyle collection. Everything needs to be done meticulously and organically so it’ll happen when it’s the right time.

Meet Reese and view his collection at the DE LA COMMUNE Pop-Up Shop, November 4, 2016 to November 6, 2016, at Universal Body at 8000 Sunset Strip #B135 in Los Angeles.  

Categories: Fashion Design, Alumni News, Event, Careers, Merchandise Product Development