A Kenny Chesney tour bus rolled through Maryville and parked in front of Boyd Thomas clothing recently but the East Tennessee native wasn’t on board.
What visitors found on board the 39-foot AirStream SkyDeck bus was a new line of clothing inspired by the country music superstar.
Blue Chair Bay is a new line of clothing inspired by Chesney. The name of the line comes from song Chesney wrote about an old blue chair he often sees when vacationing in St. John, United States Virgin Islands, said Eric Dickson, the director of sales for the new company.
“It’s called Blue Chair Bay clothing, a brand new collection of casual apparel for men and women inspired by the lifestyle Kenny lives,” Dickson said. “He’s a genuine person, and it comes through in his concerts and translates through in his apparel.”
Dickson said the new collection debuted in Las Vegas at an apparel trade show. “I haven’t met a person who hasn’t liked it. We really had a heck of a show. We were able to show the line to buyers there who were excited. I attribute that to Kenny’s popularity. The bus also drew a lot of folks.”
Steve and Susan Marra are partners with Chesney in the venture. It was the Marras who conceived the idea of a tour bus to promote the new Chesney clothing line, Dickson said.
“They found the bus. It seemed so natural to have a tour bus for apparel shows,” he said.
The bus, a 39-foot Airstream Skydeck, is set up so that apparel buyers can work at four stations set up on the bus - inside the bus at the front and back and two on top of the roof, which is set up with seating and a large umbrella, which gave the appearance a party would break out any minutes.
The bus is built to impress, with a deck on top, a vinyl wrap reminiscent of an album on the exterior sides and monitors situated throughout the interior and a large-screen television that opens up.
Womac toured the bus and checked out the men’s and women’s apparel and also took time to look at the different features of the bus. The monitors feature Chesney music video’s that served as the clothing line’s inspiration. Womac appeared impressed with both the line, and the bus that carried the samples. “I think I’m going with them,” he said.
Dickson said the time was right for a new line of clothing. “The apparel industry is ready for a new brand, something based on a positive lifestyle.”
After Las Vegas, they took the retrofitted tour bus to shows in Texas and then into the Southeast. “We had a big event in L.A. - Lower Alabama in Gulf Shores,” he joked.
From there it was on to Charleston, S.C., where they met up with Chesney and his family for a concert. They then stopped in Charlotte before they came to Maryville.
The stop at Boyd Thomas came about because Dickson and Womac previously worked together at Indigo Blue Jeans Co., a subsidiary of Tommy Bahama.
The bus was then set to travel on to Nashville and Memphis before wrapping up in Springfield, Missouri.
Dickson said the clothing will be moderately priced. Cut off Bermuda shorts will run about $55, artisan jean will run between $108 and $128, knit shirts will retail at between $32 and $49, woven shirts will be from $62 to $79 and khaki shorts will retail at $79.
Dickson said the women’s apparel will also be appealing. “There are super cute tank dresses, T-shirts, and jeans that really fit,” he said.