Harris Reed And Iman Had One Of The Most Memorable Met Gala Moments

Fashion's new wunderkind has dressed everyone from Styles to Solange Knowles – and they had a major moment at the Met Gala.

harris reed iman met gala 2021

by Kenya Hunt |
Updated on

Harris Reed’s notifications have been in overdrive. Press, retailers, stylists and VIPs have been contacting them (Reed’s pronoun of choice) nonstop off the back of their ready-to-wear collection, which hit the internet with all the buzz of a long-awaited album from a global pop star. Only, Reed is just starting their career, having graduated from Central Saint Martins (CSM) just last year.

Reed’s flair for the dramatic – grand, full moon-shaped hats and sweeping, glamorous skirts, frilled blouses and leg-skimming trousers that spread out into elegant bells at the knees – turned the half-American, half-British CSM graduate into fashion’s breakout star of 2020. That’s saying a lot, considering how volatile the year was. And 2021 is already even more exciting, with a jewellery collection about to launch with Missoma and one of the most memorable moments of the Met Gala 2021.

Reed dressed Iman, no less, who looked resplendent in, to quote Reed's own Instagram post, 'a handmade crinoline and gold leaf gown, jacquard bustier and flares with the true ray of light to top it off: a hat in collaboration with the incredible London based Vivienne Lake.'

It's hardly a surprise to see Reed on the Met steps. At the end of last year, history was made when Harry Styles was announced as the cover star of December's issue of US Vogue, making Styles the first man to cover the magazine solo and giving us all a much-deserved early Christmas gift. The Golden singer was shot in an array of custom looks styled by Camilla Nickerson and Harry's personal stylist, Harry Lambert, in a selection from Gucci, Wales Bonner, Bode and of course, Harris Reed - who penned an emotional tribute to the star on instagram.

Styles has worn custom Harris Reed looks for many of his performances and promotional appearances. In fact, his wardrobe of Gucci and Harris Reed sealed his own spot as a breakout fashion star, with the help of stylist Harry Lambert, who first discovered Reed on Instagram. This was all happening while Reed was in school, mind you. A time of life when most students are just trying to figure it all out.

‘I remember Harry [Lambert] telling me, “I think you’re ready for this client I have.” He sent me a photo of Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and David Bowie as a reference and said, “Go do what you want to do.”’ So, Reed put together a book in preparation for a meeting that they were surprised to discover was with Styles. A creative relationship was born, culminating in the custom-made caged ballgown skirt with fitted double breasted suit modelled by Styles for Vogue. The look took Harris and their team just under six days to create - at the request of Anna Wintour herself, no less.

Harry Styles for his Lights Up music video in custom Harris Reed
Harry Styles for his Lights Up music video in custom Harris Reed

For now, Reed is standing in their flat in their underwear, reflecting on school. ‘Being in isolation, I’ve been doing a lot of looking back and thinking, like, oh my God I’ve been at CSM for the last five years and I’ve been getting four hours of sleep a night for the past two,’ they laugh.

Reed is no ordinary graduate. Last year, you might have seen their work in a blaze of posts that set Instagram alight; super-influencers including Kaia Gerber, Jodie Turner Smith, Kiernan Shipka and playwright Jeremy O Harris, posting selfies of themselves wearing Reed’s signature white hat via a cleverly-engineered filter. The hat, after all, is the piece that made them famous. ‘My hats have been on more private jets than I have,’ Reed laughs.

Kiernan Shipka ‘wears’ Harris’s iconic white hat
Kiernan Shipka ‘wears’ Harris Reed’s white hat ©INSTAGRAM/HARRIS_REED

The highly photogenic signature topped off Reed’s ‘David Bowie meets Stevie Knicks meets the pre-Raphaelites meets Oscar Wilde’ non-binary ready-to-wear. Solange Knowles famously wore a white one.

‘He understood that it wasn’t just about pretty clothes, but clothes with a message. This was at a time when he was beginning to introduce powerful messages of his own, from anti-gun violence to Black Lives Matter. And the relationship developed. I handmade everything,’ Reed explains.

Things blew up from there, with powerful magazine editors and retailers calling. And Gucci: ‘Alessandro Michele brought me on to walk in the Cruise ’19 show and then I did the perfume campaign.’

Now, having just graduated, Reed is looking ahead to what’s next. A prospect that could be terrifying considering the pandemic and turbulent economy. ‘There was a moment when I realised that I’d spent five years working up to something that won’t happen now because there is no traditional graduate show. I took three days and sobbed and sobbed,’ they say. And then they got to work, using the current social and political climate as a prism through which to explore the past. Aptly calling it Thriving In Our Outrage, they created flamboyant gowns and crinoline cage skirts (like the one worn by Iman), bold graphic trousers and, yes, towering, dramatic hats. All this in quarantine.

‘I thought, “I’m going to do this collection and use this platform that makes people feel included and engaged.” I wanted to do something rebellious and outrageous with theatre sets.’ Friends in the US worked with Reed via Zoom to create the set and music. Lambert styled it all remotely. ‘Everyone was helping, but I was the pair of hands putting it all together. I felt like, if we could pull this off, we will have figured out the new wave of how fashion will look,’ they say.


In the face of Covid-19, Reed managed to create standout clothes and a buzzy show experience all on social media – and with a socially conscious mission. ‘I’ve had so many calls from buyers wanting to stock the clothes. One said, ‘You managed to create beauty in isolation using who and what you had.’


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