Country superstar Kenny Chesney is bringing a tour bus to the MAGIC show in Las Vegas — literally.
Chesney will showcase the official launch of his new line of men’s and women’s apparel in an Airstream bus that will be on display inside the Las Vegas Convention Center during the trade show at the end of the month.
The collection, Blue Chair Bay, is a denim- and knit-driven lifestyle line that will have a soft launch for holiday in a handful of specialty stores including Levy’s in Nashville, Fast Buck Freddys in Key West, Fla., and Ocean Eddies in Gulf Coast, Ala. The full launch will be for spring.
Chesney, a four-time Entertainer of the Year of both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, also will headline an invitation-only concert at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas during MAGIC.
According to Chesney, “Just like I don’t know fashion, I don’t expect these people to really know who I am, what I do or what I’d like to think my music represents. So, that’s why I’m going to play a very intimate show for a lot of them: bring them in organically to the songs, the stories and give them a sense of who I — and the people who live these songs right along with us — am.”
Blue Chair Bay is being manufactured by Latitude 17 Degrees South, a company that was formed to create the line for Chesney, according to Eric Dickson, sales manager for Blue Chair Bay Apparel. The collection will include woven shirts, khakis, shorts, T-shirts and jeans. Retail price points include T-shirts for $32 to $38, khakis for $68 to $72, shorts for $48 to $55 and woven shirts for $52 to $62.
Chesney’s name and image will not be part of the marketing for the line, but the hangtag will read “Blue Chair Bay: A Kenny Chesney-inspired brand.” The name of the collection comes from the singer’s 2005 album — “Be as You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair,” which featured all self-written songs.
“His fan base knows about the old blue chair,” Dickson said.
“We’ve had people approach us in the past,” Chesney said, “but it never seemed like something I’d wear. And when these folks called, I wasn’t sure. But the people from what became Blue Chair Bay got the things that are important to me: quality materials that don’t try; that timeless vintage stuff that isn’t right-now, but forever, and colors that look like they’ve been baked by the sun and sea water — clothes you can live in. And they let me be involved with the design, so these clothes aren’t [made by] someone who doesn’t know me and this music.”
Chesney described the collection as something you “could need if you were going to take off for a week in the islands or at the beach…or even just on the road.” The entertainer, who has made vintage Ts, baggy khakis and baseball caps or slouchy cowboy hats a uniform for his fans, added: “These are the things you wear when you’re just being yourself, unplugging with nothing to prove. To me, when you’ve got nowhere to go, nowhere to be — and you want to be comfortable, but still look good.”
Chesney, who is headlining the Sun City Carnival this summer, recently scored his 19th number-one song with “Out Last Night” from his “Greatest Hits II” album. But he’s not the only one on the road: Blue Chair Bay also will be making the rounds after MAGIC. The Airstream will meet Chesney’s tour in Charleston, S.C., on Sept. 12, and then travel throughout the Southeast working with retailers and setting up in-store boutiques.
Chesney said: “To me, when I look out at the crowd every night onstage, I know this is going to make shopping easier…not because it’s me, but because these are clothes I know I have to hunt to find, and now, it’s everything that feels good, wears easy and looks right in one place.”
At the February market in Las Vegas, another country superstar, Toby Keith, launched his TK Steelman line of sportswear for men at his restaurant on The Strip. Keith and Chesney join the legendary George Strait, whose Cowboy-Cut collection for Wrangler has been a top seller for years, and up-and-comer Jason Aldean, who signed on last month to be the spokesmen for the Wrangler Retro label of contemporary jeans.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast