Southern Comfort: Getting to Know Designer Billy Reid

“Moonshine in a hand-blown crystal tumbler.” That’s what UrbanDaddy calls Alabama-born designer Billy Reid. And we can see why. His namesake brand – seeded in the South in 1998 – toes the line between backwoods and polish. Old-school details. Quality fabrics. All readily wearable, but never expected.

And there’s even more to it than that. Here’s what you need to know.

All About Designer Billy Reid


1. It all started in the South. Reid’s interest in fashion and design began in his hometown of Amite, Louisiana (just south of the Mississippi line), where his mother operated a clothing boutique out of his grandmother’s onetime home.

2. Everything is artisan-made. Collections are designed out of the flagship shop in Florence, Alabama, and artisan factories in Europe and the U.S. take it from there – producing quality clothing and accessories that literally and figuratively stand the test of time.

3. Did we mention the awards? In February 2010, GQ and the CFDA named Billy Reid the Best New Designer in America. In November 2010, he won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. And in June 2012, he earned the CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year Award. Not too shabby.

4. He’s big on collaboration. The Billy Reid vision has extended itself to collections with brands like Levi’s, Stetson, and K-Swiss.

5. Women can shop Billy Reid, too. In 2008, the brand introduced a capsule collection of womenswear to complement its men’s line of clothing and accessories. Today, women’s clothing has a permanent spot.

Our Brand to Know: Billy Reid Men and On Our Radar: Billy Reid Women Boutiques open Thursday, February 6, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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February 6, 2014