American Gems: Billy Reid

Juley Le

October 17, 2017

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Billy Reid

-american gems-

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Sundays in the South are particularly sweet. Families venture ‘down the bayou’ or ‘into town’ for supper (the Cajun term for lunch). Grandparents extend warm hugs and aunts and uncles chat, while the cousins play gleefully in the backyard. When Maw calls out that supper is ready, everyone files into the dining room to find a casually dressed table filled to the brim with chicken and sausage gumbo, tomato and cucumber salad fresh from the garden, rolls, and on the luckiest days, her famous red jambalaya. 

It is during these meals that the heart of the South beats loudest. No matter where their lives lead, family members find themselves reaching for and reproducing the familiarity of Sundays in other parts of their lives.

The stores of Louisiana-born designer Billy Reid carry the same nostalgia of grandma’s house. Each store, meticulously designed by Reid himself, feels like a walk back in time. White shiplap walls, leather seats, and vintage rugs set familiar tones while unique antique finds and local architecture keep each location understatedly fresh.

Headquartered in Florence, Alabama, the Billy Reid line consistently produces designs with a certain lived-in luxury that is seldom found in other American brands. It’s a kind of luxury that actually lasts thanks to high quality fabrics, unique accents, and unwavering vision. Since its 1998 inception, trends continue to take a backseat throughout Reid’s collections in favor of representing his homegrown lifestyle, making it one of the few that truly speak to us during New York Fashion Week. Consistency is king.

Billy Reid represents the cream of the crop for classic American design because it remains borderless and timeless. The same neutral, thick wool coat or classic cotton button down worn by a Southern belle could easily be found on a Parisian ‘It’ girl. The same can be said of the craftsmanship of Reid’s classic herringbone blazers and the ones produced in the 1930s. The tried-and-true quality is comforting and we’re always asking for a second helping.  

Written by: Juley Le
Photography: Greer Gattuso


Juley Le


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