The business of dressmaking.

Agnes Reed 1920-1995

Agnes Reed Woman's embroidered white wool jersey suit. Agnes Reed-DeSomery designed wool jersey suits for her clients from the 1930s until the 1980s. Her clients throughout the United States appreciated their beauty, bows and embroidery. Her Agnes Reed shop opened in 1927 at 65 S. 10th Street, Minneapolis in the Handicraft Building where she stayed until her move to the Curtis Hotel in 1975. She relocated to Symphony Place when the Curtis Hotel was torn down. Though she wore only black, her clients’ suits had hand embroidered embellishments provided by the nuns at St. Paul’s Priory. Her scrapbooks in the MNHS collection are filled with anecdotes from her clients and newspaper photographs of them wearing her suits in their travels or in business.

Agnes was born in Minneapolis in 1899; her mother, Nicolena was also a dressmaker. After graduating from Central High School and working in a bank, Agnes began designing wool jersey suits that were her signature garment for the next 50 years.

Agnes Reed business card.

See images of clothing from her business

See photographs of her shop

See her papers