Perhaps you’ve heard of Billy Reid, the 2010 Vogue CFDA award winner and GQ menswear designer of the year.
In my opinion Billy Reid and Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin are THE Southern designers. As my quest to unearth more Southern designers continues I always think of their brands as the epitome of Southern style. And what is Southern style? It’s a question I ask all of my interviews and the answer is always varied yet similar. I’ll let y’all duke that one out in the comments.
Billy grew up in Louisiana but now lives in Florence, Alabama with his wife and kids. He has stores all across the country but from the pictures I’ve seen each really evokes a strong southern aesthetic that I love. Dark, well worn wood, plenty of antiques, chandeliers, pretty much how I’d want my home to look if I could get past opening a can of paint.
Even though his brand is known for it’s menswear the women’s clothing is equally as attractive. I own a pair of Billy Reid jeans and a Henley and I can certainly attest to the quality of the clothing. The allure behind Billy’s clothing is the ease of the collection. This isn’t trendy, flash in a pan styles but rather great classic southern style that can be worn again and again, year after year that gets better with age.
There has been a lot of talk about heritage brands, particularly in the realm of men’s clothing. A collaboration with Stetson and Levi’s was seemingly inevitable and a natural partnership at that. For the Levi’s collection Billy combed the companies’ rich archives to gain inspiration and insight on the brand’s history. The result was a harmonious blend of Levi’s trademark and Billy’s personal touch.
2010 was a firm indicator that the fashion world has taken notice of Southern sensibilities and has embraced it. Billy Reid is a great spokesman for the stylings of those of us below the Mason Dixon line and Yankees that get the lifestyle.
Big thanks to Mr. Reid’s mom for sending me the pictures to publish here. I was pleasantly surprised and more than flattered when his mother, T.J. Reid contacted me to thank me for helping promote her son. I mean lil’ old Slow Southern Style can’t really compete with high falutin’ fashion magazines such as Vogue and GQ so I was extremely grateful for her kind words.