Billy Reid (fashion designer)
Early life and education
Reid grew up in Amite, Louisiana, just south of the Mississippi border. He operated a women’s clothing boutique located in his grandmother’s home. Reid's hobbies included outdoor activities in the surrounding Southeast Louisiana wetlands.
Reid attended Southeastern Louisiana University. Later he attended the Art Institute of Dallas and studied fashion design and merchandising. While still at the Art Institute, he started working for Saks Fifth Avenue. After Saks he worked for 6 years at Reebok International, travelling across the globe for the first collections of Greg Norman. He started his own company in 1995 with clients including Fruit of the Loom, Neiman Marcus, Reebok and Takashimaya.
Reid's first collection launched in Spring 1998. He received the CFDA Best New Menswear Designer award in 2001, but economics forced him to close his business in Spring 2002. Reid then moved to Florence, Alabama.
Reid's new business model built up a small namesake chain of shops which reflected his "personality and his aesthetic" - loaded with antiques, family heirlooms and reclaimed architectural materials; they "took on a very personal, warm and hospitable environment."
His company headquarters is in downtown Florence, Alabama in a historic bookstore. Downstairs is his flagship shop and upstairs is his design studio. There are also shops in New York City (opened Fall 2008), Highland Park Village in Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville, Charleston, Houston, Chicago and Atlanta. The stores are notable for their atmosphere of faded elegance, for example the New York store has faded chairs and carpets, an antique chandelier, mounted deer head, and antique apothecary cabinets.
Awards and honors
- 2001, CFDA "Best New Menswear Designer award" (Perry Ellis award)(as "William Reid")
- 2008, New York Magazine "Best Men's Store" (for New York retail store)
- Feb. 2010, GQ "Best new menswear designer in America"
- 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize 
- 2012 CFDA "Menswear Designer of the Year"