A Fashionable Feast: How Celebrity Designer Billy Reid Serves the Gulf

After being named CFDA’s Menswear Designer of the Year this past June, Billy Reid had a reason to celebrate. And on Aug. 24-25, he did exactly that with his 4th Annual Shindig featuring good company, great bands, and lots and lots of fresh Alabama Gulf Seafood. Reid has made a tradition of inviting friends and family from all over to Florence, Ala. where his company is headquartered.

There were plenty of folks that showed up for the music. And with good reason—with buzzworthy up-and-comers Alabama Shakes and veteran alternative country outfit The Pine Hill Haints at the top of the bill, some of the Yellowhammer State’s best were representing on stage.

But it was Alabama Gulf Seafood that took center stage during the Friday evening picnic that kick-started the whole event. Chef Chris Hastings of Birmingham’s Hot and Hot Fish Club was on hand to prepare and serve fresh and inventive seafood creations.

The spread was extensive from the start with a number of hors d’oeuvres and buffet items like grilled Bon Secour oysters with habanero lime butter and BBQ head-on shrimp with pork rub and olive oil. For the main course, grilled bone-in triggerfish led the way with seafood gumbo and shrimp and grits rounding out the rest of the course.

It was a genuine seafood feast, and Reid wouldn’t have had it any other way. But the latest Shindig wasn’t Reid’s first foray into the world of Alabama Gulf Seafood. Earlier this year, he created a special series of Alabama Gulf Seafood t-shirts and hats featuring fishing boats, crabs, and seafood along with the Alabama Gulf Seafood mark.

Reid has become known in the fashion world for his t-shirts designed to support various causes. Last year, he sold a limited edition t-shirt emblazoned with the word “RISE” to benefit tornado relief in his home state.

Reid’s t-shirts haven’t just promoted Alabama Gulf Seafood—they’ve made a genuine impact–15 percent of the total sales of the seafood t-shirts have been donated to the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the seafood industry and the Gulf community as a whole.

This special series of hats and t-shirts instantly became one of Reid’s top sellers, and there are some still available for purchase. If you’d like to own a piece of Reid’s seafood collection for yourself, check out his website or visit one of his six retail stores located in Florence, Ala., Atlanta, Ga., Charleston, S.C., Nashville, Tenn., Dallas, Texas, or Houston, Texas.