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A few of our editors attended the Billy Reid “social” on Tuesday night, celebrating the recently opened store on New York’s Bond Street. Giving loyal clients and press a chance to view the new spring collection, the party featured shaved catfish, hush puppies, whiskey, and music from Railbird.

Hailing from Alabama, Billy Reid is a CFDA award winner and connoisseur of all things authentic and rustic. After the sudden circumstances of 9/11, Mr. Reid closed down his wholesale business and focused on opening amazing stores in the South, including a flagship in Florence, Alabama that is a grand ol’ house once owned by a Confederate colonel. The theme in each store is “threadbare classics,” both in the clothes and the décor.

When you first walk in, you’ll know you aren’t on Fifth Avenue anymore. Everything in the store is reclaimed materials shipped directly from the rustic and appropriately antique surroundings of the South. The clothes rack used to be an apothecary cabinet on the Louisiana bayou, the counter is made from rural Kentucky church pews, the pedestals of an end table were amputated from what was once a claw-foot bathtub, and the downstairs ceiling is a patchwork quilt of antique doors. And most amazing of all, the grand staircase is fused together by hand from ten different staircases. All of the pictures hanging in antique frames on the wall are of Mr. Reid’s relatives, lending to the feeling of Southern hospitality the company finds so important. Whiskey, sweet tea (yes, the kind with lots of sugar that Yankees don’t appreciate), and lemonade are always on hand to quench the thirst of customers.

Check out the Billy Reid store for a trip back in time, when guys were gentlemen and ladies were belles.

Billy Reid

54 Bond Street in Manhattan                                                                                                              

www.billyreid.com 

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