Billy Reid's Slow Approach

December 17, 2010 BY CAPSULESNEWS

NYT's Cathy Horyn tells us how Billy Reid plans to spend his $300,000 prize from the CFDA/Vogue Fund: Pocketing $300,000 from the CFDA/Vogue Fund in mid-November, Billy Reid did not consider (a) having a Paris runway show; (b) spitting out some dresses for the Oscars; or (3) inviting his friends over for beer and shrimp. “There was a day when I would have said it would go for a party,” Mr. Reid, who operates his men’s and women’s design business from Florence, Ala., said today, a month after winning the fund’s top prize. A young fashion company can soak up cash quickly. Designers have to cover the costs of one season’s production and then start making samples for the next, leaving them little money to develop new products or maybe open a store. But $300,000 is a fair amount of money to play with. Further, Mr. Reid’s stop-and-start career may have given him insights not available to the nine other finalists. ... Mr. Reid, who has made 27 plane trips to New York this year, plans to spend the $300,000 on sales help, opening a Manhattan showroom (he has taken over an old garage on Bond Street near his shop) and creating a separate warehouse in Florence. “That sounds boring, but it’s a huge efficiency,” he said. He would also like to hire someone to focus on product development. At the moment he and five others handle design, sampling and production. “It’s hard to separate those things for a small company,” he said. “You end up doing everything.” He added, “This money couldn’t come at a better time.” Read the full story here. See Billy's AW11 collection at (capsule) in January.