Contemporary use of textiles and fabric production carries the industry into the new century and international markets.
From 1976 to 2005, Tee-Jays Manufacturing was one of the largest employers of the Florence textile industry. Tee-Jays was a recognized company internationally until it closed in 2005.
The Louisiana native, Billy Reid, launched his men’s clothing line in 1989 and the women’s line in 2002, winning the CFDA award for Best New Menswear Designer in 2001. With national headquarters in Florence, AL, Billy Reid operates a design studio in New York City and in Florence, and more than a dozen retail stores throughout the country with emphasis on USA manufacturing, proprietary textiles development, and high quality construction. Billy Reid has received numerous awards including both GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2010 and the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year in 2012.
Natalie Chanin – Alabama Chanin began early in 2000 with the creation of hand-sewn garments made from cotton jersey t-shirts by founder and slow design pioneer Natalie Chanin. Alabama Chanin focuses on local manufacturing—producing quality products in the community in a sustainable and ethical way. They use 100% organic cotton fabric in their designs, sourced sustainably from seed to fabric—along with repurposed and reclaimed materials. Alabama Chanin has expanded into a family of businesses including The School of Making, Bldg. 14 Design and Manufacturing serves, and a flagship store and full-service café called The Factory Store + Café.