Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley and Wife Brittney Talk New Fashion Line, Nashville Restaurant & Lil Wayne

Tribe Kelley co-founders, Brittney Kelley and Brian Kelley attend Tribe Kelley Debuts at Ron Robinson on May 23, 2017 in Los Angeles.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Tribe Kelley

Tribe Kelley co-founders, Brittney Kelley and Brian Kelley attend Tribe Kelley Debuts at Ron Robinson on May 23, 2017 in Los Angeles.

Hint: The rapper is also a fan of the Nashville-based company's merchandise.

What started as husband and wife -- Brittney and Brian Kelley of Florida-Georgia Line --alternating clothes on a tour bus, has now become a full-fledged men’s and women’s apparel line. “After getting compliments from friends and the confidence to build [the line] up, we landed on Tribe Kelley, which we felt was a very universal way of taking all of the elements we wanted under one name,” co-founder and designer Brittney Kelley tells Billboard.

After years of selling their merchandise online, Ron Robinson boutique on Los Angeles' Melrose Avenue is now the first brick-and-mortar shop to carry the American-made label. “More than anything, it’s humbling to see our clothes displayed in such a cool way in what's probably our favorite store in Los Angeles,” Brian Kelley tells Billboard. “I think we’ll take this good energy creatively into the next line and just build on that.” 

After their West Coast event, Billboard caught up with the couple to talk memorable performances, why they believe it’s important to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and the symbiotic relationship between music and fashion.

Congrats on your big BBMAs win on Sunday! How did it feel when they called Florida Georgia Line as the winner of the Top Country Song BBMA?
 
Brian Kelley: I think I speak for Tyler and I both when I say our hearts were beating out of our chests. It never gets old, and it’s a warm feeling; it’s always surreal. The Billboard’s are a factual award show and chart-driven, so it means a lot to us to get nominated for this award, it’s always the cherry on top to win. To be honest, we felt like winners just showing up and being a part of the night with John Legend. That’s something that we’ll always remember that, and I think it was probably one of our favorite vocal events we’ve ever done and probably the best we’ve ever sounded on television. It’s a rush of adrenaline, and one of those moments we all tried to slow down and really soak it up. We feel blessed. 
 
Speaking of the BBMAs, what was it like seeing Lil Wayne wearing Tribe Kelley during his performance with Nicki Minaj?
 
Brittney Kelley: That was a definite thrill moment for us because we both grew up on Lil Wayne. We knew his stylist had pulled the shorts Wednesday, but we didn't have any expectations; we just had our fingers crossed and said a little prayer. Right before he came out, Brian looked at me and said ‘He’s in it, ’ and we just lost it. I think we were the most pumped people in the crowd and we felt like we got a fashion number one there at the Billboards; it was very surreal. 
 

 
What’s your favorite Lil Wayne song? 
Brittney: 'Fireman' was his first song I learned all the words to.

Brian: I got a ton, but probably ‘A Milli.’ There’s one with Wiz Khalifa called ‘Living Right, ’ and it’s something I can put on anytime. 

Why is it important that your pieces are all made in the USA? 

Brittney: It was important to us for quality control. It can interrupt the sampling process if we have a different idea [of our samples] versus what overseas has. And we believe in keeping our jobs domestic, and we want to bring some factory jobs back home. We’re also lobbying for factories on the East Coast and believe in bringing factories back to the U.S. in general. We also love keeping our jobs here and knowing our sewers are paid and treated well. 

How does music influence your fashion? 

Brian: Being on the road and on-the-go, we make the most of what we have by altering and customizing. I think music and fashion have always gone hand in hand. If you look good, you feel good. An artists' performance is an expression of how you feel, and if we feel confident in your clothes, that's where our heads are at. 

What can fans look forward to next from Tribe Kelley and Florida Georgia Line?

Brian: We’re opening our very first bar and restaurant that’s a four-level experience called FGL House and we're super excited about that. It opens on June 5th in Nashville. We decided to give our fans a chance to see our vibes on food and the different music we like; it's going to be a big party. 

Brittney: We’re also launching a denim line that's been in the works for about a year now. A lot of the pieces Brian’s been wearing have been a part of the line, which has been under wraps and development. This September, when our store opens at the Trading Post in Nashville, we’ll also have our denim there and we're really excited about that. 

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