Anna G.: I've "known" Anna for the past three-ish years being a frequenter to the Billy Reid store in Washington D.C. (unfortunately more of a frequenter than buyer on a post-grad budget these days). Her style has always been a perfect compliment to brand - effortlessly Southern with an ever-so-slight contemporary flair - and so when I had the opportunity to profile her I thought I would combine it with the brand she represents.
Whenever I mention Billy Reid many people give a similar reply: "Never heard of it." Perhaps it's the modest collection of their brick and mortar stores or the fact that they're one of the few brands that aren't on RStyle (shots fired). Whatever the reason may be, Billy Reid deserves far more credit than they get. You want to talk about true Southern style? This is it...not some company pumping out pastels t-shirts made in China with a neck tag that says Southern (Insert Word of Choice Here). While the price-point may be a bit higher, the quality is top notch. A pair of pants from Billy Reid will last you longer than all of of your Vineyard Vines oxfords combined.
I had the opportunity to profile Anna, Market Director in their DC store before they opened on an early winter morning. The space is gorgeous modeled after Billy Reid's own home. The pictures you see hanging on the walls are members of his family and the objects that accessorize the space are one-of-a-kind sourced through a variety of means. To make a simple comparison, if Ralph Lauren was southern this is probably what it would look like.
The clothes that hang within the open wooden wardrobes and brass fixtures are perfectly organized, but approachable in a sense that you don't feel like you're committing a sin (or garnering a look of fury by an associate) by touching or trying something on. The place encourages the curious buyer and is one of the few enjoyable shopping experiences I willingly admit to (unlike the environment of J.Crew that could be summed up with the word "chaotic").
So if your New Year's Resolution list includes some kind of fashion overhaul or if you're looking to acquire a staple garment, add Billy Reid to your sourcing list. The pieces are great and if you have patience (and some luck) the sales are always killer (I'm currently saying an evening prayer that this Fur Bowery Coat gets added to the discount bin).
Special thanks to Anna for letting me drop by the store and snap a few pictures.
"Easy elegance. I lean towards clean lines, no frills, classic but modern. I always ask myself is this going to stand the test of time, both in the style of the garment and in durability, and most importantly, does this piece have meaning to me."