Billy Reid to Wholesale Men’s

Men's designer Billy Reid, a 2001 CFDA award winner, is expanding into wholesale.

Billy Reid, the men’s wear designer known for Southern Americana, is ready to wholesale.

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Reid, who some remember as a 2001 CFDA award winner who shuttered his emerging collection after 9/11 and moved back to Alabama, relaunched his collection five years ago, focusing on his own stores where he could build a brand around his Southern roots. His new unit on New York’s Bond Street, which is his first one up North, has space downstairs for meeting with retailers. All told, he has seven stores around the country.

“To wholesale you need a certain amount of revenue to make the production more efficient, and you need good production relationships, and we have those now. We’re ready to execute,” Reid said.

After retailing the collection for five years, Reid said he would seek partners who are similarly “customer-service oriented and who keep things special.”

The collection includes hand-tailored suits and jackets, handmade footwear and a complete sportswear range including T-shirts and selvedge denim.

“My head this season was in between a Mississippi Delta swamp at the duck camp and the East Village — sort of how I spent the past year of my life,” said Reid. “I wanted pieces that I could take with me in both of these worlds and not think twice about there performance, acceptance or wearability.”

For the time being, Reid’s women’s collection will remain exclusive to Billy Reid shops.