CBS 17 co-anchor Bill Young owns more than 300 pairs of socks and, though viewers don’t see them on-air during his morning and midday newscasts, they’re a playful, quirky counterbalance to the polished suits his profession requires day to day. Young says his off-air wardrobe favors bold patterns, bright colors and unexpected pieces. We sat down with Young for a chat about his impressive sock collection and what fashion means to him.
Hometown: Pittsburgh, but my grandparents lived on the Outer Banks so I’ve had a life-long connection to North Carolina.
Your neighborhood: Brier Creek.
What you love most about Raleigh: It sounds trite, but my job as an anchor at CBS 17. I’m totally enamored with Raleigh and the people I’ve met. Working for a TV station where the focus is “local news that matters” has created an incredible bond with viewers who’ve been so welcoming to me on social media.
Currently reading: “Truth Worth Telling” by CBS anchor and correspondent Scott Pelley. I just interviewed him — a truly remarkable journalist.
Currently listening to: Anything with energy! Pop, ‘80s, rap, hip hop — even big band! But it must have energy!
Style influences: I look to the network morning anchors. They have a bit more style and a more colorful wardrobe than their evening counterparts, but still professional.
Local go-to shop: I shop everywhere but I rarely shop online. I think it’s important to keep your money in your community. I’ve been impressed with some of the neat men’s stores in town, like Kannon’s Clothing and Ealdwine. DECO Raleigh has some awesome novelty socks and I’ve picked up some cool T-shirts at Apex Outfitter.
Travel dream: Monaco
How you stay fit for the camera: Walking! I’ve been walking so much more since I’ve moved to Raleigh. I’ve enjoyed exploring downtown with my rescue dog, Pumpkin.
Favorite drink: Iced coffee. I make a huge tumbler and bring it with me to work every morning. There aren’t too many places to stop at 3 a.m.
Style secret: Buy quality shoes and keep them looking nice!
How would you describe your signature style? Subtle and tasteful, but always with a pop of color.
When did you begin collecting socks and what prompted you to start? Why socks? I learned they’re the most-needed and least-donated item at homeless shelters and back-to-school drives. I was working at a TV station in Alabama at the time, and brought this to the attention of my boss. We decided to start an Instagram campaign using fun socks to bring attention to the need.
How do your socks represent your personal style? A pop of fun while still being professional. My socks are rarely, if ever, visible on TV. When you’re on-air, you want to connect with people through the quality of reporting, not have them distracted by what you’re wearing. But I always post the fun stuff on social media to create a casual bond with viewers.
What makes a good sock to you personally? If the colors or designs make you smile or chuckle.
What’s your favorite pair of socks? I have two favorites; a custom pair with the face of my dog and a pair covered with little TV sets.
Do you plan your outfits around your socks or your socks around your outfit? That’s the great part — they’re just a fun add-on accessory, so you don’t have to worry like you would with a tie.