Like other musical artists, the pandemic brought Thomas Rhett’s whirlwind life to an abrupt halt. But there was a silver lining. The lockdown led the multiplatinum-selling country artist to an epiphany and a whole new appreciation for what was important in his life: family, nature and good old country music.
The result was the first part of his fifth studio album, a critically acclaimed double album titled “Country Again: Side A,” with Side B planned for later this year. Many of those songs including the title track, his most recent single, were inspired by his time off the road.
And now, the singer has partnered with Chaco Footwear, an outdoor lifestyle brand, on a series of three limited-edition sandal designs, the first of which drops today. Thomas Rhett has worn the sandals since college and is hoping to bring his appreciation for the brand and the outdoors to his fans.
“When I’m outside, my creativity levels go through the roof and it’s no wonder that nature has had such an influence on my new music,” he said. “There is something about being outside that just takes the worries of the world away and depletes them, for at least an hour or so. It’s a place that you can slow down and learn how to live in the moment.”
Although he sings about digging his boots out of the back of the closet in his latest singer, he said what footwear he wears depends on what’s going on in his life at the time.
Chloe Resort 2022
“I have for sure always had a thing for shoes,” he told WWD. “I’ve worn Chacos since I was a kid — they’ve been a staple in our house because we are constantly outside, exploring or on some sort of family adventure. On stage is probably not where I would recommend pulling out a pair of Chacos, I’ll keep my boots for that. One of my favorite sayings is ‘be where your feet are,’ which is a metaphor for being present and in the moment, but I think it also applies to what shoes your feet are literally in at any given moment and how that affects your mindset. I know when I pull my boots on it puts me in a certain mindset, and my Chacos put me in an entirely different one.”
The Thomas Rhett Collection will include three product drops throughout the summer including the Boulder, a model with green webbing and a colorful fly-fishing lure pattern that is a nod to the track “More Time Fishin’” on the album. The design is available in both men’s and women’s sizes for either $60 or $105.
“The Boulder idea came from my experience fishing the Boulder River in Montana,” he explained. “I have loved fly-fishing for a while, but this is where the passion for fly-fishing kicked in, it’s where I caught my first trout and I have so many great memories fishing with my wife on that river.”
Jamie Kirby, marketing director for Chaco, said the company’s design team “had a lot of fun working with Thomas Rhett to design unique patterns that represent some of his favorite outdoor memories, and we hope they will inspire others to get outside as well.”
Ten percent of proceeds from the sales of the Thomas Rhett Collection will be donated to Love One International, an organization that provides medical care for children in Uganda, the country where Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins adopted their four-year-old daughter Willa Gray. Akins serves on the group’s board.
Thomas Rhett said he’s very particular about deciding which brands to collaborate with. “Partnerships are something I’m pretty specific about being part of my real life and for projects that I can actually be a part of,” he said. “With the Chaco collections, my whole family loves them and I got to have a hand in designing them to share my love of the outdoors. For the Dos Primos tequila I launched this year with my cousin Jeff, we were able to spend three years working on creating the exact taste we were looking for: we selected agave from a family farm in Mexico, we learned a lot about all the factors that impact the flavor and tweak the process until it was just right. So, you never know what might come along down the road, but I hope that fans get to know me a little better though anything I’m a part of.”
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