Five questions for a Southern favorite
Designer Billy Reid, the epitome of sophisticated Southern style, opened his seventh national and first Atlanta store in Westside’s White Provision building this summer. Raised in Louisiana and currently residing in Florence, Alabama, Reid launched his line in 2004. Its casual silhouettes and warm color palettes reflect Reid’s native region, but luxury fabrics and fine detailing add cosmopolitan polish—providing, as the company website puts it, “a modern approach to American work wear and cultured Southern dandyism.” Collaborations with brands such as K-Swiss, Stetson, and J. Crew—as well as reviews by national media like Vogue and the New York Times—helped Reid become 2012’s Menswear Designer of the Year at his industry’s top awards. Recently Reid took a few moments to reflect on coming to Atlanta. 1170 Howell Mill Road, billyreid.com
Why did you pick Atlanta? It’s such an unbelievable city, and we have more customers in our database from Atlanta than any other city where we do not have a shop.
Why Westside? We try to focus on a neighborhood that feels like a place where we want to hang out, have neighbors, and become a member of that community. Westside has that.
What are your views on Southern fashion? I never think of designing with a Southern aesthetic. I am a Southerner, and it’s pretty hard to change that at this point. Fashion is global, and being yourself is the best approach.
What makes this location unique? We recovered some shiplap and used it as wall covering. It created a great texture, and we used touches of leather and backlighting to keep the space uncluttered. It’s our home there, and we want it to feel inviting.
Do you feel you have competition in Atlanta (e.g., Sid Mashburn)? Sid Mashburn’s reputation is top-notch in our industry, and I’m a big fan. I don’t see us as competition, but rather good neighbors.
Photograph by Patrick Heagney