Billy Reid: Southern Hospitality

An Invite to the Fashion Designer’s Mini-Festival Shindig

Part soul food and music gathering, part late-night jamboree, Billy Reid’s annual Shindig lures luminaries of fashion, gastronomy and entertainment to the designer’s hometown of Florence, Alabama, for a celebratory weekend steeped in down-home charm. The CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund-winner invited lanky Delta blues troubadour Justin Townes Earle to headline the third-anniversary lineup. Performances from California country rock collective Romany Rye and the Nashville-based indie folk rock outfit Apache Relay were also on offer, with concerts staged in Reid’s candlelit studio. Guests including artist Butch Anthony, James Beard–awarded chef John Currence and legendary rock producer Rick Hall spent days poolside under a canopy of magnolia blossoms at Turtle Point Country Club, retiring to Reid’s rambling Victorian house at night to dine on BBQ pulled pork, cast iron skillet-baked macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. “Our particular area is called The Shoals, and it's one of the cultural jewels of the state," says Reid. "So many people have cut records here: Aretha Franklin, the Stones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson—a list that rivals any large music mecca. It's great to share that history with friends.” We asked the southern gent, whose vintage-inspired American heritage brand comprises relaxed, preppy takes on menswear classics and simple, elegant womens silhouettes, to detail his insider Dixie know-how.

Best record store
Pegasus Records has been around for about 30 years and they have a great selection of local Muscle Shoals music. They also buy and trade, which doesn't happen that much anymore.

Lunchtime Hotspot
Trowbridge's is the old-school local luncheonette in town. They serve really simple, delicious sandwiches and homemade ice cream. I always order the pimento cheese and a "babysitter." It's not listed on the menu but it is a local favorite: hot dogs, chili and mustard on white bread toast.

Retail Staple
Ye Olde General Store is a great shop that carries deadstock and new workwear. You can always find great items from Carhartt, Pointer and Duck Head. Gordon, the owner, is really helpful and kind.

Epicurean Fix
I try to get to the Florence-Lauderdale County Farmers' Market, The Tomato House and Spring Park Market on Thursday evenings, and Jack-O-Lantern Farms in Muscle Shoals. These are all locally grown fruit and vegetables markets in the area that have a great produce and homemade treats like pickled okra and sauces.

Treasure Trove
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques has an incredible selection. My wife and I love to shop for antiques and they have everything from bath fixtures, windows, knobs, and everything else you could think of to fill, or build, your home.

Moonshine Tip
A little is just enough... too much is dreadful. It can be very potent, especially hidden in punch or eggnog!

 

 


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