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Ariat expands brand with Nashville storefront amid pandemic

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Ariat, a western shoe and clothing company, traveled to Nashville. The company, which counts Ashley McBryde and Jake Hoot as brand ambassadors, worked with local artisans to create unique slices of art for the new storefront. A custom leather wall with stitching in the pattern seen on Ariat’s boots, a neon art installation, and a life-size sculpture of a horse made from musical instruments and records found in music stores and the city’s antique shops are on display.

Ariat unveiled its third storefront in Nashville at the new Fifth & Broadway mall located in the heart of downtown Music City. The store tracks the company’s locations in Fresno and Lexington. More than two years in the making, the opening of Ariat Nashville has been delayed due to the pandemic. With Covid-19 security protocols now in place such as masks, social distancing and limiting the number of people inside the brand’s store, Ariat Nashville opened on March 4.

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“Although the opening was delayed, our vision for what we wanted this branded store to represent has remained constant,” Jared Ellis, Ariat’s senior director, Retail Concepts told me. “The extra time allowed us to work closely with many of our partners to create a space that we believe truly tells the story of our brand while reflecting the spirit of Nashville.”

As Ellis explains, Nashville topped the company’s list of locations to open a branded boutique.

“The city is synonymous with many of the key elements that Ariat embodies as a brand, including its influence on Western culture. Opening a branded store in Nashville gave us the opportunity to represent the brand in a higher way, ”he says. “We are able to showcase our western collection, from the inspiration behind certain styles to the athletic technology that is infused into Ariat products.”

Located on Nashville’s famous honky-tonk-lined Lower Broadway, Ariat offers views of the Ryman Auditorium from its front doors. On a street known for its live music, Ariat plans to host future in-store performances. The space has a convertible stage built from several clothing accessories to allow for future sets.

“The brand’s store is surrounded by some of the best country music venues in the city, and we hope this space can be another destination to experience some of the incredible talent this city has to offer,” Susan Alcala, vice-president Ariat President, Marketing Partnership, explains. “When it is safe to do so, we plan to hold regular in-store performances and events with well-known artists as well as up-and-coming singers and songwriters.”

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Ariat is already planning future live experiences for its clients with McBryde and Hoot. Fittingly, the women’s locker room is called “McBryde” and features a floor-to-ceiling photo of the performing singer taken by local photographer Katie Kauss.

“When you walk inside, you feel like you’re in the front row of one of his shows,” adds Alcala. “We spoke with Ashley and Jake about the different ways we can partner up – from performances to giveaways – and we’re excited to bring them to life in the months to come. … We are delighted to have Ashley and Jake as official members of our Ariat family, and we also have many other longtime fans of the brand across the country music industry.

McBryde says she has been wearing Ariat boots for as long as she can remember. She even won her first CMA for New Artist of the Year in 2019 by donning a pair of Ariat boots.

“It’s a brand that I really love and identify with,” says McBryde. “People who wear Ariat represent hard work and resilience, and they face challenges head-on. I have adopted the same attitude with me throughout my own career. When I think of Ariat, I remember that with a little courage and determination you can accomplish anything you want. I am honored to partner with them and delighted people are discovering the brand at its brand new store in the heart of downtown Nashville.

Ariat is located at 5034 Broadway Place, space C107.

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