Billy Reid grew up in Amite, Louisiana where his mother owned a women’s boutique in the hospitable environs of his grandmother’s former home. That early influence would eventually move Reid to study at The Art Institute of Dallas and begin a four-year career with Saks Fifth Avenue. Later, he spent six years with Reebok in Los Angeles, Boston and New York, developing product and traveling extensively.
Reid launched his men’s collection, William Reid, in March of 1998; a women’s collection came a few seasons later. In June 2001, he won the coveted CFDA award for Best New Menswear Designer. Unfortunately, the dismal economic conditions in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks that year forced him to close and move his family to Florence, Alabama, to put his life back together.
In 2004, friends approached Reid with the idea for a unique retail business concept built around his aesthetic and a fully realized men’s collection, both called Billy Reid. The first Billy Reid shops opened in Dallas, Houston and Florence, where the store was located in an old home with Reid’s design studio upstairs. Word of the new company spread and the business grew, building momentum. In 2010, Reid was named GQ/CFDA’s Best New Menswear Designer and won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Two years later, he was named the CFDA’s 2012 Menswear Designer of the Year. Reid has collaborated with brands including Levis, J. Crew, Coach, Neiman Marcus and K-Swiss.
Today, Billy Reid operates a design studio in New York City near its Bond Street shop and at its Alabama headquarters. The company sells to luxury boutiques worldwide and operates 12 retail shops domestically and an e-commerce site with full product offerings for men, women, footwear and accessories, with an emphasis on USA manufacturing, proprietary textiles development, and high quality construction.