Reese Hyde

Fashion fanatic finds herself in her sense of style


MoHi Mix

Reese Hyde 23′ Poses In Her Outfits

Strolling through the aisles of Shanghai Tang, a high-end, designer boutique nestled within the streets of Hong Kong, Reese Hyde ‘23 brushes the tips of her fingers through brightly colored silks and glamorous dresses. She pauses and shuts her eyes to breathe in the soft, lingering smell of jasmine perfume. Large, ornate cages of different colored parakeet birds hang from the ceiling of the boutique for decoration.
Growing up in Hong Kong, Hyde had a unique childhood. From a young age, fashion sparked her interest. Runway shows were on repeat on her television, and books about fashion lined the shelves. Hyde often flipped through the books and was instantly captivated by historical fashion.
Hyde’s mother supported her efforts and pushed Hyde to pursue her curiosities.
“My mother worked in the fashion world for years,” Hyde said. “She was an editor in fashion. She always really supported me. We’re the same person, unfortunately. We even look the same. But we both have restless, creative energies, and when we have something in our head, we need to produce it and get it out into the world.”
At the age of seven, Hyde moved to America and found the change difficult.
“I was in an environment that I had never been in before, and was expected to adjust to,” Hyde said.
Back in Hong Kong, Hyde would wear a school uniform each day and didn’t have much of a chance to express herself. So when moving to America, she could finally use fashion and stand out.
“I tried really hard to assimilate into American culture, and I made that a huge part of my identity,” Hyde said. “I wanted to be exactly like my classmates, so I tried really hard in every single way to fit in.”
Like the parakeets in the boutique, Hyde was continuously caged in by these anxieties.
Moving to a new country worsened the anxiety and self-esteem issues she has had since she was a child.
“When you’re anxious, you’re always worried about what other people think of you,” Hyde said. “You’re always second guessing yourself, and that quickly develops into low self-esteem.”
Fashion quickly became an outlet for her and a way to manage the issue. Hyde strived to be socially accepted because it made her feel more secure within herself.
“I was constantly worried my classmates wouldn’t accept me because I had such a different upbringing, so I used clothes as a kind of armor, which created this persona of confidence for me,” Hyde said. “Sometimes the only thing that gets me through the door in the morning is a great outfit. I can go to school and feel a little bit better about myself.”
Now, Hyde doesn’t rely on external validation to feel good about herself. Studying abroad in Paris over the summer, Hyde met her best friend, Lauren Elkington, at a fashion design class.
“She doesn’t really care what other people think about her outfit as long as she likes it,” Elkington said.
Once Hyde began to dress for herself, she found the power behind her individuality, and that it was a way to accept her story.
“Fashion was a huge part of how I began to accept my past,” Hyde said. “I can now be proud of that past.”
Finally being able to dress how she wanted led Hyde to discover what she truly feels inspired by.
“I really love to lean into my femininity,” Hyde said. “I feel like that’s something that’s really weaponized today. Why shouldn’t I wear hair bows? I’m a bow girly until the day I die. I wear lace, miniskirts, and corsets, and I love adding militaristic elements to feminine pieces.”
Hyde sees fashion in her future, even as a career. She hopes to go to school in New York or California to study costume design, and is currently working on her fashion portfolio and applications. She’s confident to frame her future with fashion because it’s shaped the woman she’s become.
“I’m not looking for validation from anyone else,” Hyde said. “It’s purely for myself, and I no longer care what anyone else thinks. Never be afraid of being too extra.”


How To Build An Outfit

1. Check The Weather

“First, I check the weather. I’m naturally a very cold person, so I usually wear something warmer than most people would go for.”

2. Research

“I look on Pinterest. I see if there’s a new piece I want to style, or if there’s a piece in the back of my head.”

3. Layer and Finish

“I’ll base the outfit around a singular piece, and then just layer things on top. I’ve always really liked the 90s layered aesthetic.”