Reese Witherspoon has unveiled her first ever fashion project – announcing her new fashion line, Draper James, which borrows its name from the award-winning actress' paternal grandparents: Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon.

The Southern-inspired sportswear and lifestyle label features bright prints and colours across ready-to-wear, accessories and jewellery: "In the South, there's a lot of colour, prints, tradition, traditional fabrics like gingham, plaids, stripes. There's also definitely a feeling that what you wear makes you feel better, especially if you're wearing colour, prints or joyful things," Reese explained at a special unveiling in New York on Tuesday. 

"It's a big deal that my name is on something. It's not just my name. It's my grandparents' name, which is a big, big deal. And you know I feel very emotional about it." 

Witherspoon also revealed that she is currently contructing a 3000 square-foot Draper James store, which will respect the spirit and decor of her Nashville home and follow an initial e-Commerce launch. 

And anyone who is sceptical at how an actress can turn fashion designer, Witherspoon explained: "It's amazing how much I've learned from making costumes for movies for 25 years. I understand how to make things work – seams, underpinnings. Being on film, I know what looks good on a woman's body and how you can use that experience to flatter a woman's shape," she noted. "We're thinking about all kinds of women. I understand that dresses that would look good on my mother are a different thing than what would look good on my daughter or that would look good for me. We really try to bear that in mind - that women come in all shapes and sizes. We want them to feel pretty."