Despite being born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and raised in Tennessee, Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon has a lot of love for New York City. As a spokesperson for Elizabeth Arden and ambassador for My 5th Avenue – a heady and addictive blend of mandarin, lotus flower, jasmine and orris flower – Reese has an unbreakable bond with the city that never sleeps, and it’s a contagious feeling.


As travel destinations go, New York has to be one of the best. It’s an effervescent city full of people of all walks of life, music, culture, shopping and a colourful history. If you haven’t visited before, put it at the top of your to-do list. However, if you’re about to board a flight to New York, read why it’s love for Reese and New York.

What is your first memory of New York’s 5th Avenue?

W: I was 14 years old the first time I came to New York for an audition. I looked up at all the tall buildings on 5th Avenue and felt totally overwhelmed and intimidated like it was someone else’s world. It felt so much larger than life but also left me feeling the city’s incredible energy and like anything was possible.


What does 5th Avenue personally mean to you?

RW: 5th Avenue symbolises the start of my career. I remember this moment when I was hailing a taxi and got a call that I had aced a job I had worked really hard for. I finally felt like I deserved my seat at the table. I’ve always been ambitious, but I felt a newfound confidence that I could create my own destiny. To me, 5th Avenue is all about ambition, and ambition is beautiful.


What are your favourite places on 5th Avenue?

RW: The Met and the Guggenheim museums. Whenever I get some time off, I love to wander through and look at the beautiful exhibits. Also, it’s always nice to walk through Central Park, especially when the leaves are changing colours.


What does ambition mean to you?

RW: Ambition is the millions of stories and dreams I look out and see, including my own, and the desire and drive to make them a reality.


What are your ambitions? How have they evolved?

RW: Growing up, I heard a lot about ambitious women and was taught that life isn’t about serving yourself, but about serving the world and the community around you. So much of what I do through my companies and philanthropic work is for this purpose. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realised it’s important not only to succeed, but to leave your industry and your community a better place for the next generation.


What do you wish for your future self?

RW: I hope to create more opportunities for women to tell their stories across many different platforms, whether that’s books, television shows or films. I think it’s important that women’s stories continue to evolve and represent the unique experience of being a woman in this world.


How would you guide a young woman to build her own destiny?

RW: If there is a young woman looking to build her own destiny, I would encourage her to take more risks, believe in her herself and her talents, and to not be afraid of failure. Most importantly, I’d tell her to never lose sight of who she is and the values she believes in.