August 31 2014

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19 posts tagged "Billy Reid"

“A Banjo Is Not A Flotation Device”: A Report From Billy Reid’s Florence, Alabama, Shindig


Last month, a reporter asked Billy Reid to name the best thing that had happened to him so far in 2012. Easy, he said: getting a new pontoon boat.

Never mind that whole CFDA Award for Menswear Designer of the Year honor back in June. That was great, for sure. But when you live in The Shoals—the name given to the group of quirky little towns near the Tennessee River in northern Alabama that includes legendary music haven Muscle Shoals and Florence, Reid’s adopted hometown and location of his flagship store—you’ve got to have your priorities straight.

Billy Reid’s priorities have always included giving back to the good folks in his neck of the woods, whom, for the last four years, have been integral to the success of Shindig, the annual music, fashion, and food festival that has become his signature event. “One of our favorite things about the weekend is the blending, having folks in from all over the country mixing with all of our local friends,” said Reid, whose wife, Jeanne, and kids took part in the weekend. “We love being able to play host for our community.”

Like any good host, Reid made absolutely sure that no one went away hungry. If anyone went away hungry, well, that was their problem: Food was everywhere.

Shindig kicked off on Friday night with a picnic in the backyard of one of Florence’s many stately homes, featuring Alabama seafood prepared by Chris Hastings of Birmingham’s Hot & Hot Fish Club. Hastings’ support staff included Reid’s fellow Florentine fashion designer Natalie Chanin’s son, Zach, who recently opened a catering company in town. “It was definitely one of my joys of the weekend to see Zach so happy with all these great chefs,” Chanin said. “I said to him, ‘There are some of the best chefs of the South here—no, make that some of the best chefs in America.’ He agreed.”

Later that night, the much (and deservedly) ballyhooed band Alabama Shakes headlined at the retro-cool Shoals Theater, where the stage featured a giant Alabama state flag backdrop and quirky hanging light fixtures fashioned by Chanin’s longtime beau, local folk artist Butch Anthony. Shakes leader Brittany Howard, a wild-haired, big-voiced native of Athens, a town just a few miles to the east, gave a stunning vocal performance, bringing the crowd to their feet multiple times. “I’ve been all over the world,” said Howard, whose band had a stint opening for Jack White earlier this year, “and I never feel more at home than I do back here in Alabama.”
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Designers Celebrate Christmas In July With eBay


“I’m a total eBay-phile,” said Chris Benz (pictured) at last night’s midtown cocktail party to fête the behemoth retailer’s latest buzzy collaboration, the eBay Holiday Collective. Benz, along with Billy Reid, Jonathan Adler, Steven Alan, Fallon’s Dana Lorenz, Ruffian’s Brian Wolk and Claude Morais, and Tibi’s Amy Smilovic, were on hand to present their limited-edition capsule collections for the megabrand, which ranges from silk twill pajamas to canvas travel accessories. “I wanted to give the eBay customer a real sense of what I do,” said Lorenz, who used crystals and gold-plated pyramids to recreate her signature chunky necklaces. “It’s a punk-princess look.”

Although the seven designers turned out to tout their own lines, each admitted to routinely trolling the site for vintage duds and mid-century finds. “I have a serious paint-by-numbers collection,” revealed Wolk, whose Spring 2009 print was informed by the kitschy tableaux of the forties and fifties. Some even scour the site for transportation vehicles. (Reid recently acquired a 24-foot pontoon boat from the e-tailer, which he docks at his Florence, Alabama, home.)

“I went through a serious eBay addiction, so I’m happy to get a few shekels back,” quipped Adler, who created silver studded frames for the collection. The interior design magnate’s tip to scoring big online? “Misspelling. If you’re in the market for Bulgari, spell it with a ‘v.’ It’s amazing what you’ll find.” The Holiday Collective, which ranges from $50 to $100, will be available on eBay starting November 12.

Photo: Billy Farrell /

Home Field Advantage: CFDA Designers Team Up With The Mets


The Mets lost last night at Citi Field, but it was a win for the CFDA, which has partnered with the ball club to celebrate their mutual 50th anniversaries with some designer-made Mets merchandise. Yigal Azrouël, Billy Reid, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos of Shipley & Halmos, and Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn of Loomstate—the designers behind the new tanks, tees, caps, and baseball jerseys—all got their photo ops at home base, and, once the game got started, enjoyed the best seats in the house in the owners’ box. For many CFDA-ers it was their first time at Citi Field, and for Azrouël it’s his last—at least for this season. “My summer’s pretty much over,” he said. But fall holds lots of promise. In addition to his runway show, he’s opening up shop on Madison Avenue during the first week of September, and he’s also planning his wedding. Here, Azrouël and others at the game. The CFDA-Mets products are available online at

Photos: Joe Schildhorn /

Tom Brady: The Feet Of Ugg, And More of Today’s Top Stories


We’ve all seen him wear them, and now he’s celebrating them. Tom Brady (pictured) flew in from Boston this week to fête the opening of the first Ugg for Men store, where the label showed off the latest ad campaign images featuring the sports star. Clad in his own Ugg shoes, the New England Patriots quarterback and hubby of Gisele said, “To see what they are rolling out now, with the winter boots and the rocker boots, it’s pretty amazing.” [WWD]

Nike is playing up its feminine side these days. The sportswear label enlisted the likes of Mary Charteris, Sarah Sophie Flicker, and Natalie Joos to star in its new ad campaign, Play, and caught them on film talking about what their favorite sport means to them. [Vogue U.K.]

Take a lesson from Charlize Theron—do not auction yourself as a dinner date for charity. The Snow White and the Huntsman actress divulged to Conan O’Brien that “it’s like the worst idea ever,” recalling the time she ended up on a date with a “strange” man. It’s safe to say the actress will stick to donating money from now on. [Page Six]

Fresh off his CFDA win, Billy Reid is taking no time off to relax. With a menswear business worth $20 million in sales this year, the Alabama native is riding a retail expansion wave. Having just opened his seventh store last week, a 2,500-square-foot space in the Provisions District of Atlanta, Reid has announced he already has plans for his eighth outpost, in Austin, Texas. [WWD]




Photo: Jerritt Clark / Getty Images


Southern In The City


New York’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) kicks off this week, and the fashion set is not to be left out. Designer Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin, has organized a series of events called MAKESHIFT, to initiate, she says, “a larger conversation around finding the point where the professional worlds of fashion, craft, design, and DIY intersect.” As the Alabama-based (hence the name) Chanin points out, “The important business and brand building parts of the fashion industry can sometimes obscure that initial designer act of making things with our hands.”

Last night, Chanin unveiled one of the main centerpieces of MAKESHIFT—her craft/design pop-up shop with fellow Alabamian Billy Reid at Reid’s Bond Street shop. “Anytime we can work with Natalie, we’re in,” Reid says. “When she proposed the idea of the pop-up shop for design week, it was a perfect fit. We had been working with crafting quilts into jackets so it was a timely item to have included.”

Inside the 20′ by 20′ pop-up, you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces exclusive to the store, from designers including Gaby Basora of Tucker, Maria Cornejo, Albertus Swanepoel, Susan Cianciolo (a fashion darling-turned-artist)—and of course, items from Reid and Chanin as well.

The pop-up, open through May 25, is located at Billy Reid, 54 Bond Street, New York. To learn more about MAKESHIFT, visit

Photo: Courtesy Photo