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.
Every Billy Reid store is prepared to accept walk-in clients for a Made To Measure suit, sport coat or shirting, though most are not conducted in a quick twenty-minute visit (Tom is so familiar with the brand, he knew what he wanted). In a perfect world, guests interested in a Made to Measure men’s suit receive the full attention and benefit of our MTM specialists’ expertise upon appointment, including all the time they need.
The Journal was able to catch up with Tom for a brief Q&A on his fitting experience, why he loves Billy Reid and, in tandem with our Shindig No. 6 panel discussion on food and fashion, how he see’s the two worlds connect.
Journal: As a producer of “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” you’ve become a regular at the Emmys over the last several years. What’s your typical process for dressing for the event?
Tom: The typical process for me in the past has been dusting off the suit in the back of my closet and getting dressed. I usually switch up ties year to year.
J: Why did you choose to wear Billy Reid to the ceremony this year?
T: I have a great working relationship with Billy Reid – I personally wear a lot of his clothes and also wear a lot on the show. This year, I wanted to change it up from my suit, maybe go from black to navy blue, and find something that fit better, so I figured it was time to have a suit made.
J: What was the suit fitting process like in our NYC store?
T: The suit fitting process was great. We looked at fabrics and linings, took measurements and that was it. I was also offered a beer - it couldn’t have been easier.
J: How does Billy Reid compliment your personal day-to-day style?
T: Years ago I was walking down Bond Street and went into the store on a whim. Both the clothes and store itself felt like me. It was all about quality, but also very relaxed.
J: At our Shindig No. 6 this August, we hosted a panel discussion on the intersection of fashion and food. How do you see the two intertwined?
T: Creative avenues like cooking, art and fashion have all become intertwined and a big part of mainstream popular culture. Ten years ago, would a designer be dressing a chef? I don’t think so. The creative world is coming together everywhere. I think the process of designing clothes is similar to the way chefs work: it’s so important to start with great raw materials and fabrics and great ingredients. You want to highlight those materials, not mask them. Billy makes approachable clothes that you feel a connection to – they’re timeless and classic but also modern and functional. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, a musician, a designer or a chef, we all go through some kind of creative process. I know Billy himself has really embraced the food world, especially Southern chefs, and that food plays a big role in Shindig. He clearly has a soft spot for great food.