Rising country music star Kassi Ashton’s talents extend beyond having a great set of pipes and the ability to write moving songs that expose the gritty and vulnerable sides of her personality. Ashton has been designing and sewing her own clothes for as long as she can remember. When Budweiser heard that, it tapped Ashton to create a limited-edition collection that will be sold at a pop-up at CMA Fest, June 6-9 in Nashville.
“I’ve been obsessed with clothes ever since I can remember,” Ashton said. “The first time I was picky about clothes, I had these black corduroy overalls that I hated. My mom made we wear them to kindergarten and I cried in my cubby until my she brought me a change of clothes.”
Ashton in middle school learned how to sew and created her own outfits. She said she jumped at the chance to work with Budweiser on the eight-piece collection. “It’s a big company that was very influential in my youth,” she said. “It’s all my dad drinks; it’s an American staple. This is a new thing for Budweiser. They’re trying to reach out to a new audience.”
Aside from denim, which is vintage Levi’s, Ashton, who designs the clothes she wears in her music videos, said she did “everything from scratch. I didn’t have boundaries. I thought about what will sell well at CMA Fest, where it will be hot. As far as where my fashion mind wanted to go, I toned it down a bit for CMA Fest. Budweiser sent me its bow-tie logo, which I incorporated into a tie-dye T-shirt. I did sketches of all the pieces and found the fabric samples.
“I’ve wanted to be a singer and an artist my entire life,” said Ashton, who graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, where she won the school’s 2016 Country Music Showcase. “My mom used to sneak me into karaoke bars when I was little. I couldn’t read yet, so she’d stand by me and whisper the words to ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ by Céline Dion.“
Ashton will be joining Maren Morris’ Girl: The World Tour, which kicks off in the fall. “I definitely will be wearing Budweiser pieces when touring,” she said. “I’m going to continue to release songs this year to show my fans more layers of me. But first, I’ll be stopping by the Budweiser Country Club at CMA Fest and helping people style pieces from the collection.”