Hailed by NPR as “the main rule breaker in Americana music’s most exciting band of this century, the Alabama Shakes,” Brittany Howard was born in Athens, Alabama. Together with her bandmates, she has won four GRAMMY® Awards. She is also a recipient of Billboard’s Women in Music “Powerhouse” Award. To name just a few collaborations, she has joined Sir Paul McCartney for a duet at Lollapalooza 2015, jammed with Prince at Paisley Park, and performed with Sam Moore at the ceremony for Eddie Murphy’s "Mark Twain" Prize.
The New York Times praised Howard’s “singular stage presence” and noted, “She can sound by turns ferocious or angelic, sometimes in the same song. When she sings about heartbreak, it feels as if, right there at that moment, she is consumed by it.”
In addition to Alabama Shakes, Brittany formed Thunderbitch with friends from Nashville, released an album in 2015, and is a member of Bermuda Triangle, a trio she co-founded with vocalists Becca Mancari and Jesse Lafser in 2017.
Brittany’s participation in this campaign still has me floating a bit. When we first started concepting this project, I let myself think without boundaries and rattled off the women that inspire me most, the women whose strength, tenacity, and talent make me proud to work hard. Many of the women I saw in my mind’s eye ended up becoming part of the project, and for that, I feel abundantly grateful and honored. But when Brittany agreed to work with us, I knew we’d really be creating magic.
Like many of you, I first discovered her work through the music of Alabama Shakes. I associate the all-at-once powerful and playful sounds of Boys & Girls with my first few years in Nashville. Living in a small duplex with a rattling window-unit air conditioner, sewing in the spare bedroom, listening to Lightning 100.1 on FM. Sweaty evenings with the windows open, working late with the radio up loud to keep my heavy eyes open. When things felt impossible and terrifying, and I’d wonder why in God’s name I was trying to start a business with no money in a city where I knew no one, I’d get in the car and drive aimlessly, sun shining, dogs in the front seat, blasting You Ain’t Alone. As I settled into my work and into the city, Sound & Color saw us through our huge move to the warehouse here on Atlas Drive. Power-washing the parking lot, designing our three seasonless collections, laughing 'til our sides hurt after hours - the music of Alabama Shakes has been the soundtrack of my time here in Nashville and the genesis and evolution of ES.
But there is so much about Brittany that inspires me in addition to the incredible music she makes. She’s loved by this city, her warmth and generosity is evident, and she radiates kindness. Bermuda Triangle is an example of this - watching those three play together is so warm and joyful; it’s like getting to be a part of their friendship for a few moments. Her raw talent is only made more impressive by her humility, and her drive and work ethic are only made more admirable by her open, relaxed, and welcoming nature. We visited Brittany at her home here in Nashville. Photographing her living and working in our garments was such an honor. Her pup, Wanda, hung out with us while she showed us around her backyard studio (it’s ah-mazing), and we also discovered a bottle of tequila can be fully disguised in the Clyde Trench pocket. (I know y’all will appreciate that; the ES community is a wine smuggling bunch. ;)) Easy linen separates are just right for providing ease and comfort when recording but can also work for dinner with friends or a quick meeting.
We asked Brittany what role clothing plays in her life, and here’s what she had to say:
"Clothing is comfortable. When I am best expressing myself - whether it be creating music or connecting with friends - I am comfortable. For me personally, I thrive when I am able to think less about what I’m wearing and just focus on being present. I love the functionality of this collection for that very reason. I’m wearing textures that I love in styles versatile enough for both casual and formal wear. It makes it simple for someone like me who grabs an outfit and goes out the door."
Brittany wears the Georgia Tee in Ivory Midweight Linen, Clyde Work Pant in Clay Cotton Canvas (see a similar style), Harlow Tunic in Black Midweight Linen, Cecilia Pant Black Stretch Cotton (style discontinued), and Clyde Trench in Clay Cotton Canvas (see a similar style).