Ich geb es zu – als ich den Namen Billy Reid vor ein paar Wochen das erste Mal gehört habe, mußte ich nochmal genauer nachfragen und konnte mich nur daran erinnern, dass Blomquist mal sehr angetan von einem großartigen amerikanischen Designer erzählte, der bei „Americans in Paris“ vom CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund teilnahm (und von dem ich mir unbedingt mal die Kollektion anschauen muß…).
Da ich aber schon in der Schule nur unregelmäßig meine Hausaufgaben gemacht habe und eher erlebnis-orientierten Unterricht verfolgte, war ich sehr froh, als mich Mr.Porter nach London lud, um mit Billy Reid ein Interview zu führen und um am offiziellen Launch des Labels bei dem Online-Händler teilzunehmen.
Bei dem Event im Londoner Club „The Box“ waren dann auch neben Billy Reid, einigen Bloggern aus Europa auch die amerikanische Band „The Apache Relay“ – eine weitere Lücke die ich nun geschlossen habe!
Zum Interview mit einigen Eindrücken des Events gehts nach dem Klick
What does an ordinary day look like in your life?
Everyday is different. I’ve been traveling a ton recently from Alabama and New York. If I’m at the studio in Alabama, I usually start the day pretty early at home, we have three children so we get them ready for school and then head over to the studio. I try to focus on the collection as much as possible in the morning and then more business related things in the afternoon. Then it’s family activities, whether baseball, cheerleading, dance or homework and hopefully some family time in there somewhere.
In what way does your hometown, Louisiana, influence your designs?
My mother had a women’s boutique in our small town of Amite, LA where I grew up. Her shop was located in my grandmother’s old home and was sort of a Steel Magnolias type of a place. She influenced my path to the industry at an early age that eventually led me to where I am now.
Kathryn Neale Shaffer was talking about your collection this Summer. She said the collection is going both „American ways“ – the dirty one but also the elegant „Madison Avenue“ one. Is this your vision for the brand?
I love things that have duel usage and personality, where it is right for downtown New York or Main Street. I want the clothes to have a broken in sensibility and a timeless nature that people feel comfortable no matter their surroundings.
You have collaborated with Stetson, Levis or K Swiss – on which criteria do you choose a label you would like to work with?
There has to be a purpose and a like-minded effort for collaborations. With Levi’s and J.Crew, those projects were granted as part of a reward from the CFDA, GQ and Vogue. However, there was plenty of synergy beforehand as we share some facilities with Levi’s in the U.S., which made the collaboration a natural fit. With J.Crew, we have many friends there and had discussed working together many months prior to it happening. K.Swiss was a situation where I had a pair of canvas shoes from the 80’s that I had worn completely to shreds and they no longer made them. We approached them to revive the style with our touches.
Your collection was launched on MR PORTER last week, are you excited about the opportunity to reach a new audience?
Incredible!! It is our first entry into the European market and we could not have dreamed of a better place to partner. Everyone has been incredibly supportive.
Which male celebrity would you like to dress?
Kris Kristofferson, he always been a style icon for me. William Faulkner, of course that’s impossible, but I can imagine. Modern day, we made some great friends through our efforts like Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Timberlake [Anmerkung: Timberlake trug z.B. auf diesem Bild einen maßangefertigten Anzug von Billy Reid], Jack White, Justin Townes Earle and many others. It is always fun to see who’s buying and wearing the clothes.
What are the key pieces from your upcoming Spring collection?
Our guy is very relaxed for Spring 2012, but he still appreciates tailored pieces that he can mix into his wardrobe. I think an unlined two button blazer in a lightweight cotton worn with a linen shirt and patterned novel shorts is a modern way to wear Spring/Summer classics.
Bloggers have a specific way of working, what do you like and dislike about the blogosphere?
I like that there’s a great dialogue happening right now about menswear and bloggers are definitely the one’s who are participating in that. Guys are now much more comfortable talking about personal style and really considering what they wear and how they wear it. I really don’t have a dislike about it, other than there can be duplication.
Christmas is just around the corner. How do you celebrate Christmas? Who gets the turkey out of the oven?
Christmas is a time for family and it’s the most time I have to spend with them before things pick up in January in preparation for Fashion Week in February. My wife is a Christmas Tree fanatic, so we get a HUGE tree and loads it down with ornaments and lights. We have a big dinner and invite folks over and my wife and I do the cooking ourselves. We have recipes that we like to use that have been passed down through our families. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I prefer to deep fry the turkey. (Sounds crazy, but it is crazy good!)
Can you image a Haute Couture line from Billy Reid?
We actually have a bespoke suiting we make on an individual customer basis in New York City. We have not built this for women’s. We really focus on our customer and if they respond to the collection and new things we experiment with, then we continue to develop it.
What are you going to do at the end of today? Party or go to bed early?
We’re in London now to celebrate the launch of the collection with Mr. Porter and we’re having a get together tonight. Some friends are going to play a live set including Apache Relay and some other special guests. Tonight should be fun! We landed today, and have had a nice nap in anticipation of the evening…