Ariat Arrives in Music City

Ariat Arrives in Music City

Ariat Arrives in Music City

Our newest brand shop officially opens at Fifth and Broadway in Nashville.

2021-03-04

Ariat brand shops have deep roots in the communities they serve and each is connected to Ariat’s rich company history. Our newest brand shop, which is a part of the Fifth and Broadway shopping center in downtown Nashville, pays homage to Ariat’s Western heritage. The store is located right in the heart of Music City, across from iconic Nashville destinations including the Ryman Auditorium and Bridgestone Arena.

To bring the spirit of Nashville into the store, our team worked closely with multiple local artisans to create one-of-a-kind art pieces emblematic of Nashville’s influence within the western and country music communities. Read on to take a virtual tour through the new store and to learn more about the art pieces and the significant meanings behind them.

Ariat Nashville dressing room

“We selected Nashville as our newest brand shop because of its significance in country music and western culture,” said Jared Ellis, Sr. Director of Retail Concepts at Ariat. “Our team has thoughtfully designed this store to showcase our brand story and pay homage to this iconic city. We commissioned Nashville artisans to integrate unique art pieces into the design of the space and are excited to finally open our doors to locals and visitors alike.”

Ariat Nashville neon sign blame it on my boots

“Blame it on My Boots”

Broadway is famous for its music and neon and the team wanted to bring a bit of this vibrant energy into the store with a customized neon art piece. The design was inspired by a vintage graphic tee and is the perfect reminder to have a bit of fun in your new Ariat cowboy boots.

Our team worked with Top Line Sign Co., a company on a mission to revitalize the art of neon, to design and create this installation. Top Line Sign Co. learned the trade of neon art from Nashville’s own “Neon Cowboy,” who has made a majority of the neon projects on Broadway. Now, the company’s pieces can be viewed at some of the most iconic destinations in Nashville, including our new brand shop.

“Real glass neon is an art form that is in a state of rebirth right now. The pieces we create are more than signs, they are pieces of art. Our team is made up of some of the top craftsmen and neon artists who have been bending glass by hand for several decades. In fact, most of the neon on Broadway and throughout downtown Nashville has been created by a few of these artists. Neon was once a dying art form and we are so excited to be one of the few shops in the world who is bringing it back to life in this time of neon renaissance.” – Julie Kirby, Top Line Sign Co.

Ariat Nashville wooden horse sculpture

The Musical Horse

In designing the new brand shop, our team wanted to create a focal piece that evoked the company’s namesake, Secretariat. Rachel Wilson is known for her intricate, life-size sculptures of wooden horses, and we commissioned a custom piece that represented the brand and brought in elements of Music City.

The horse sculpture is made from local Osage Orange wood and includes multiple musical instruments as a nod to the music industry. The body of the horse features a 1973 Gretsch 7670 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman Guitar, played by Chet Atkins who invented the “Nashville Sound” style of country music, and a 1973-1975 Gibson SJ Deluxe Acoustic Guitar, a popular guitar you often see on the stages along Broadway. The horse’s tail is made from guitar strings and the mane is sculpted from a collection of records from studios where some of country music’s most famous hits were recorded.

"Everything in this piece kicks back to Nashville in some way and represents the history of the area. That was really important to me. I get really wrapped up in the history of these types of pieces. I like to dig in and find out who used what instrument and make sure it is relevant for the specific project. Everything from the type of guitar we used to the records in the mane is very specific and has a meaning." – Rachel Wilson, Sculptor

Ariat Nashville wooden horse sculpture detail

A Wall of Leather

A pair of well-worn Ariat boots became the inspiration for the red leather wall in the new store. These boots spoke to us both because of their well-loved nature and because they were one of our iconic designs.

The team collaborated with Philippe Mugnier of Nashville Custom Leathers to replicate the color and pattern of the boots on the wall. Each of the panels is made from a different hide, which meant every hide needed to be the same color as well as the perfect thickness to prevent any kind of puckering when stitched. When put together, it’s an eye-catching element that perfectly resembles Ariat’s signature, handcrafted leather boots.

"The inspiration for this design was to mimic the decorative stitch pattern that you would find on the upper of the boots. I've done a lot of countertops and bar tops, but never a full wall like this. We broke the wall into smaller sections and hand-stitched the design onto each panel. It was intensive work, but after it's all said and done and you stand back from the wall, it's really cool to see it all come together." – Philippe Mugnier, Nashville Custom Leathers

Ariat Nashville red leather wall