architecturaldigest.com — To fashion aficionados, the name Thomas Rhett might not ring a bell. But to millions of country fans, it’s a common one: The 27-year-old singer-songwriter has released three albums in the past four years (including his latest, Life Changes); written songs for the likes of Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line; and has had eight songs reach the number one position on the country airplay charts. On top of his own success, Thomas Rhett Akins Jr., who professionally goes by Thomas Rhett, is also the son of country singer-songwriter Rhett Akins.
But Rhett’s other, perhaps lesser-known, interest lies within fashion, which led him to create a pop-up store that opened at the end of last month at the Seventh Letter in Los Angeles. A selection of Home Team–branded clothing, accessories and custom art are available for purchase, including four thrift-store denim jackets that have been highly customized by Rhett’s stylist, Kemal Harris, who also works as a stylist for Netflix’s House of Cards. Rhett’s line, Daniel Patrick X Thomas Rhett, includes three limited-edition styles for men and women, including an anorak track pullover for $475, shorts for $275, and a hat for $60.
The “Die a Happy Man” singer, and recent father of two, talked to AD about everything from his Bieber inspiration to a freshly drawn-up set of new house plans.
Architectural Digest: What inspired you to create a pop-up shop in Los Angeles?
Thomas Rhett: I’ve watched other artists do it, but no one in our genre has done this. It’s been fun for me to create items that we would never sell on the road. It’s a combination of Thomas Rhett merchandise; my style more than just merchandising a face concert T-shirt, which sometimes could be an epic failure. I’ve never really done this on my tour before, sold pieces that are a little bit more fashion forward. People like Justin Bieber and Drake do these pop-ups, and that seems like something I would really like to go to as a fan of theirs. To have people around the store, waiting to come in, I’m excited to see what they gravitate toward.
AD: You collaborated with L.A. designer Daniel Patrick, whose clothes you’ve worn before. Are there any other designers featured at this pop-up?
TR: Most designers I’ve reached out to are like, ‘Who is this country singer wanting to get my new spring collection?’ Every time I’ve talked to Daniel and his wife, I’ll text him to be like, ‘Those new acid-wash sweatpants are sick, can you send me a pair?’ At first he was like, ‘I didn’t think people in country wanted to wear my stuff.’ But I wanted to get it out there. People are coming to my concerts wearing skinny jeans and Vans, it’s not just cowboy hats. I want to change the cliché of what the world views as country music style and kind of get the word out that we do have style and we love working with different designers. MadeWorn is also a brand that my wife wears religiously. The designer, Blaine Halvorson, only did 25 shirts. We also worked with a New Era low-profile snapback. It was my first-ever collaboration with designers, but I hope to do a lot more.
AD: For this Fairfax location, what design aesthetic were you going for?
TR: Very much streetwear. That’s what I wear in my daily life. I’m a shredded-jeans person, a destroyed-T-shirt person, but I will wear a striped tracksuit, too. My style is all over the place and I love being able to explore that in the space of combining merch and things I would actually wear. No yoga pants and no onesies, though. But I probably should have done a baby line in here. My next pop-up is going to be only for babies.
AD: Your family went from two—you and your wife, Lauren—to four, with your adopted baby and your newborn. How’s your home looking?
TR: It’s everything that my wife picks out. I don’t really get a say, but it’s very neutral-tone, whites and grays, and a lot of rustic furniture. Beat-up wooden tables, very Restoration Hardware if you will.
AD: Are you adding any room additions? Has your aesthetic changed?
TR: In terms of our house, we are outgrowing it very fast. It’s 3,000 square feet. When we bought it, it was 1,000 square feet so we added 2,000 square feet four years ago. We are in the process of building a new home, actually. My wife wants, like, five kids, so we are going to have to build a gigantic house. We just got our plans back. It’s like 10 minutes away from our old place in Nashville, but the new house is going to be very Southern-influenced. In the front, it is going to look like a one-story home, but it’s on a slope, so when you go to the back it’s going to be a three-story home. We’re putting a studio in the house and a gym with a punching bag, which is something I’ve always wanted.
AD: New album! New house! Does that mean new furniture, too?
TR: I’m sure we will take certain pieces. Every Christmas my granddad picks a grandchild and makes a wood piece. He built my and Lauren’s wooden kitchen table, and that’s a piece we will have for forever. It’s mahogany, and it has tears at the end if you want to make it longer. He carved his name into the table and I think he carved how many man-hours it took him, which was a ton, and the date he delivered it to us. It’s probably the most cherished piece of furniture we have in our house.
AD: You mentioned seeking out more collaborations, could that extend to a home line?
TR: I mean why not? This is the first step in anything design I’ve ever been a part of and it’s something that I’ve been sketching in a notebook all day long. Whether it’s different ways to make a hat or something else. I’m so passionate about this and putting it into action; this is definitely one of the coolest days of my career thus far.