On this day in 1964, Tracy Reese is born in Detroit.
She will graduate from Cass Technical High School and leave the Motor City in 1982 for the bright lights of Manhattan to attend the prestigious Parsons School of Design.
There, Reese will earn a degree in 1984 and become a well respected and critically acclaimed fashion designer. She will first apprentice under designer Martine Sitbon while working for a small contemporary firm called Arlequin.
Reese will gain experience at some of the industry’s top fashion houses, including Perry Ellis, where she will work as design director for the women’s portfolio.
A mainstay in the fashion industry, Reese will collaborate with several top brands, including Sally Hansen and Hue, among others. First Lady Michelle Obama will wear one of her dress designs during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, watched by 26.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.
Ken Coleman, the author of On this Day: African-American Life in Detroit, is a native Detroiter and former news reporter. He served on the Detroit Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Detroit with his wife, Kim Trent, and their son, Jackson Coleman.