NEW YORK — Though he was born in Louisiana and lives most of the year in northern Alabama, Billy Reid is a Texas kind of guy.
His laid-back yet luxurious approach to clothing fits right in with the easygoing lifestyle in the Lone Star State, where three of his nine stores are located (Houston, Dallas and Austin).
For fall, it's all about "the clothes and how our friends would wear them," Reid said.
For fall, Reid said it's all about "the clothes and how our friends would wear them." His collection, unveiled on a snowy night during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, is designed for "two people that might have a dirt bike in their garage and closet full of dinner jackets, great coats and leather pieces," he said in his program notes.
"They have unabashed ease about creating a look that is theirs and feels theirs."
There's no doubt that the award-winning menswear designer's collection is meant for fall, with a palette of warm browns, forest greens, orange and burgundy shades. He emphasizes great outerwear, from coats with fur collars (Reid uses nutria, rabbit and beaver) to rugged distressed leather jackets for everyday use, along with dinner jackets in velvet or silk jacquard for a night on the town.
Crisp herringbone suits, hand-knit pullovers, ribbed cardigans, plaid shirts and cord jeans enhance the collection's laid-back vibe.
In recent years, Reid has been creating an ever-expanding women's collection. For fall, he offers a lot for the ladies, from a "fermented" leather pleated skirt and ivory bibbed blouse to sexy sweaters and dresses with a red-rose motif.
Even though he spends a lot of time in New York, Reid stays close to his roots. His runway show featured bearded models who look like a young Gregg Allman and a set made from wood planks created by Southern Accents Architectural Salvage in Cullman, Alabama.
Before the runway show started, Reid served whiskey drinks and the playlist was heavy on the Muscle Shoals sound, from classic (Bobby Womack's "Please Forgive My Heart") to current (the Muscle Shoals electronic music collective Machinery of the Night).
Sweet Home Alabama, indeed.