BRAND: Billy Reid
FOUNDED BY: Billy Reid
HOME BASE: Florence, Alabama
WHY WE CO-SIGN: With more and more men embracing the refined and classic elements of style, many designers have been returning to traditional silhouettes and looks for inspiration. Billy Reid is one of them, but his sophisticated line is set apart by adding another aesthetic to the mix—ruggedness. That's why many are calling the designer the "Ralph Lauren of the South."
Reid's Southern upbringing comes through in his clothes: well-tailored seersucker suits alongside heavy-duty outerwear; linen button-downs and reverse selvedge denim shirts; wingtips and loafers; and mid-calf boots constructed of distressed leather. Reid's creations are dapper yet broken in, polished yet rough—the brand deftly brings together the two very distinct worlds of a Gulf Coast shrimper and a dandy Southern law professor. So if you're down with the trend that's being called "the resurgence of the gentleman" but still want a bit of that rugged edge, get to know Billy Reid.
Keep reading for our interview with Billy, his five winter essentials, and images of our picks from his collection.
Billy's Five Winter Essentials
1. A waxed cotton coat
2. Broken-in lugged sole Cordovan boots
3. A cashmere turtleneck
4. Beaten down denim shirt
5. Tweed suit
Complex: What was the first designer item you bought?
Billy: A Ralph Lauren navy blazer. That one got a solid workout.
Complex: What's your favorite piece in the collection?
Billy: Always hard to choose. The Cordovan lineman jacket. I look forward to watchin' it break in.
Complex: Are there any special projects/collaborations we can look forward to in the near future?
Billy: I believe collaborations work best when the fit feels right and not forced. There are some things in work and we hope to share that news soon.
Complex: What can we expect in your next collection?
Billy: Fall 2010 was a study in U.S.A. manufacturing as we researched turn-of-the-century worked-wear fabrics and heavy-duty construction. Mixing these types of sturdy pieces with knits and hand-tailored jackets and heavy-soled handmade footwear. Mill worker meets East Village meets Southern prep.
Complex: What price points does the brand offer?
Billy: We strive to offer a wide range of pricing throughout the collection. We price it for what it's worth and put as much integrity as possible into everything we make.
WHERE TO FIND IT: We launched wholesale with a selective approach. A few better specialty shops like Bergdorf Goodman, among others. We're also really fortunate to partner with Bloomingdale's New York to build a shop in shop, scaled from our Bond Street shop. Also, Billy Reid shops include Bond Street in New York City; The Hills Center at Green Hills in Nashville, TN; King Street in Charleston, SC; Southpark in Charlotte, NC; Northpark Center in Dallas, TX; Galleria 1 in Houston, TX and Court Street in Florence, AL.