Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury x Made to Measure

Well Worn

image

Gregory Alan Thornbury, Ph.D., in his beloved Billy Reid Made To Measure suit. Photos by Josh Wool

Well Worn gives our friends the chance to share the backstory of their special attachment to a favorite Billy Reid design. This week, our friend Dr. Gregory Alan Thornbury, Ph.D., ponders the magic of his favorite Billy Reid pinstripe suit, from our Made To Measure custom clothing division.

In the summer of 2013, I moved from Tennessee to become the president of a college at the corner of Broadway and Exchange near Wall Street. In the space of a few weeks, I had to transition from a life of being a professor and dean to a new and different executive role. Since first impressions are important, I knew what I had to do. I picked up the phone and called Shelly Colvin at Billy Reid. It was time to make a Made To Measure appointment to be fitted for a suit. And to this day, every time I put it on, it still feels like my superhero suit.

expand

The Haviland Moto Jacket

The Goods

image

Photo by Abraham Rowe

Our women’s leather collection is by far one of our most loved categories. “We develop our leather pieces in New York City and have made them consistently there for many years now,” Billy said. “That consistency is something we believe in and we are proud of those relationships that continue to thrive.”

The new Haviland Moto Jacket, made of lightweight Italian calfskin, embodies the same sleek fit as the Classic Moto, with feminine tailoring and accents that evoke authentic biker wear.

"The Moto has been a constant in the collections and one of first leather pieces I worked on at William Reid," Billy said, recalling the designs he created for his first namesake company. "It has evolved over the years, but remains a staple. It really is season-less and so versatile."

Grant Brigham of Jones Valley Teaching Farm

Craftsman

image

Jones Valley Teaching Farm executive director, Grant Brigham, and farm director Katie Davis on the two-acre urban farm. Photos by Cary Norton

The Jones Valley Teaching Farm sits on two acres of cultivated soil on a city block in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The JVTF’s small, devoted staff grows over 200 varieties of organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, and educates students from Birmingham City Schools on food and nutrition. The nonprofit organization launched a new program in the spring of 2013 with the first Farm Lab at Oliver Elementary School, effectively moving the farm onto school grounds and establishing an outdoor classroom where core subjects like math and science are taught through hands-on experiences. The Fatback Collective, led by Nick Pihakis of Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ, is hosting a Twilight Supper for JVTF friends and supporters this week. Billy Reid’s music guru, Shelly Colvin, arranged for Nashville-based singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim to play the special event.

The Journal toured the farm and caught up with JVTF executive director Grant Brigham to learn a little more about how Jones Valley is affecting Birmingham’s next generation, both on and off farm grounds.

expand

The Milk Carton Kids

Craftsman

image

The Milk Carton Kids, Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, outside the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville before the AMA awards. Photos by Andrea Behrends

Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are the harmonizing, wisecracking duo The Milk Carton Kids. Their simple arrangement - two guys, two guitars - strike a balance in contemporary folk that’s not so common in today’s pop-slanted take on the genre. Add polished songwriting to the mix, and we were sold from day one.

Joey and Kenneth are longtime friends of Billy Reid, having worn Billy’s designs on stage for several occasions; in 2013, they performed at our SXSW Shindig in Austin, Texas. This week, they won the Americana Music Association award for “Duo Of The Year.” We feel like proud family.

The Journal caught up with the guys backstage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium before the AMA’s for a brief Q&A.

expand

Will Farley’s Nashville

Tour Guide

image

Native Nashvillian and Billy Reid associate Will Farley in his natural habitat. Photos by Yve Assad

Nashville is a city with a rapidly evolving identity. We have always been an artistic town, but the fields of visual art, fiction, journalism, poetry, and food are growing exponentially; Nashville isn’t just “Music City, U.S.A.” anymore.

Storytelling may be the beating heart of the city. There is the utmost reverence for the power that storytelling holds, this is, after all, a city full of writers. This is why Billy Reid fits so well here. Billy demonstrates a strong respect and commitment to telling stories well through his design and our collaborations with local chefs, the Southern Foodways Alliance, musicians, and artists. Billy is steadfast in his vision of working in and around an artistic community.

expand

SS15 RUNWAY SHOW FEATURING BEN SOLLEE & FRIENDS

We chose to hold our Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show in the Refectory, the same place we debuted our Fall/Winter 2014 presentation back in February. Located in The Highline Hotel in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, the Refectory features exposed brick and stained glass beneath rows of chandeliers. Originally the dining room for the General Theological Seminary, located on the same block; today, students still gather there for lunch.

Another thing that didn’t change this season: Billy’s commitment to having the models walk to live music – specifically, the 1977 Heart song “Love Alive,” re-interpreted in a special arrangement by Kentucky-based cellist Ben Sollee. A trio of his Brooklyn-based musician friends rounded out the mix: Clay Ross on acoustic guitar, Melissa Tong on violin, and Jeremy Kittel on violin.

expand

Billy Reid + Alabama Chanin Cotton Project

image

Billy picks cotton from our organic 7-acre field we shared with Alabama Chanin in 2012. Photo by Rinne Allen

In May 2012, we partnered with fellow CFDA designer and neighbor Alabama Chanin to plant a seven-acre cotton field in Northwest Alabama near our Florence headquarters. That fall, with the help of over 300 friends, family members and colleagues, we hand-harvested our organically grown cotton and celebrated the pick over barbecue by our friends at Jim ‘n Nicks. Photographer Rinne Allen’s piece in last week’s New York Times T magazine documents our collaborative cotton journey from harvesting to spinning to final garment production. The project has been one of love, learning and slow anticipation that has come full circle with our limited run of 100% Alabama grown and sewn organic Cotton Project Tees, sold in stores and online by both Billy Reid and Alabama Chanin.

“It is something we are very proud to have accomplished and to have been a part of with Natalie and everyone at Alabama Chanin,” Billy said.

expand

Ben Sturgill of Everything Magazine

Craftsman

image

Everything magazine editor and stylist Ben Sturgill, in his home in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Photos by Chad Davis

Born in West Virginia, Ben Sturgill has been working in New York as a stylist for over two decades. During that time, his work has appeared in a wide range of respected magazine titles as well as visual campaigns for fashion companies, including Billy Reid.

Last month, we were honored to have Ben work on our FW14 image campaign. While chatting on set, we learned that he was much more than just a talented stylist: Ben is the founding editor of Everything, a thick, photo-heavy magazine that clocks in at almost 300 pages.

As New York was ramping up for Fashion Week last week, Ben was gracious enough to carve some time out of his schedule to answer a few questions we had about his first publishing venture and to welcome frequent Journal collaborator Chad Davis into his beautifully appointed apartment in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood to snap some pictures.

Journal: Everything magazine is a unique concept in that there is minimal text; photography dominates the entire issue - uncommon for any publication, even one devoted to fashion. What was your inspiration for the format?

Ben: Honestly, when I look at fashion magazines, I mostly just look at the photos. So I wanted to embrace that. I liked the challenge of speaking in a purely visual dialogue. The magazine is laid out in a way that each “story” or portfolio speaks to the one that follows it in an abstract way. The “reader” can find their own narratives by studying how the images are placed next to each other. I liked the openness of that.

expand

FALL/WINTER 2014 PRINTS

Billy’s Design Notes

image

Fall/Winter 2014 prints are designed in-house and are featured on several pieces in both the men’s and women’s collections. Photos by Fred Mitchell

Our prints are designed in-house, and for the Fall/Winter 2014 collection, they play a more prominent role than ever before in both the men’s and women’s collections. Billy works closely with textile designer Drew Botts in our Florence design studio to carry the first hint of an idea through the process of developing from original pattern to printed fabrics to finished garment.

expand

Tom Colicchio

Made To Measure

image

Tom Colicchio, wearing a custom suit from Billy Reid’s Made To Measure program, takes a breather in the lounge at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles before leaving for the Emmy Awards ceremony on Monday, August 25. Photo by Amy Dickerson

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has long been a Billy Reid fan. He’s worn Billy’s designs on television and in his personal life for years, and for the 2014 Emmys ceremony this evening, he chose to have a Billy Reid suit custom made through our Made To Measure program.

A few short weeks ago, Tom was filming an episode of “Top Chef” - for which he has been nominated in the Outstanding Reality-Competition Program category many times, including this year, with a win in 2010 - a couple of blocks from our New York City Bond Street store. After the wrap, he stopped in and a Billy Reid associate took measurements, suggested fabrics and sent a rush order out to our factory in Boston. The fashion world all but shuts down for the month of August, so our production team had to perform a small miracle to get Tom’s suit patterned, cut and sewn in time for the big event.

expand