CMA Fest was all about country music – but it was also about country music fashion.
CMT partnered with Jessie James Decker and her clothing brand Kittenish for a fashion show featuring some of CMT's Next Women of Country, as well as an intimate conversation between CMT's Leslie Fram and Decker on her journey through country music.
"With Kittenish, I want you to feel like you can wear these pieces anywhere," Decker said. "I want you to feel like you get your money's worth."
Artists including Maddie & Tae, RaeLynn, Lindsay Ell, Callista Clark, Laci Kaye Booth, Sacha, Alyssa Bonagura, and Julia Cole strutted across the CMA Close Up Stage at Fan Fair X in designs from Kittenish. Decker and Fram provided commentary on the clothes ranging from playful and casual separates to rompers and comfortable, versatile dresses that function for date night just as easily as they go to the grocery store.
But Decker told Fram she wasn't in Nashville for fashion – she came for country music.
"If you know me, you know that I've been at this for a really long time," Decker said. "This is my fourth record deal. I moved to Nashville whenever I was two weeks fresh out of high school. This has been my dream ever since I could sing. Around the age of 2, believe it or not, I knew I wanted to be a country artist. I knew I wanted to be in Nashville. My mom always told me when you have a dream; you don't give up on it. It doesn't matter what happens. You stay true to yourself. And I feel like I've done that."
Decker's new EP "The Woman I've Become" is out now. She explained that sometimes people pray for things that don't happen, and you wonder why. But she now understands why her early prayers for a career in country music didn't work out as she had hoped.
"Everything has to happen in God's time," she said. "I got my first record deal when I was 19 years old, and I wanted it so bad then. It didn't happen the way that I hoped, but I truly feel like I needed to have my children and have my husband. It humbled me and grounded me. It just makes me even more grateful for all the blessings that I have now. It just makes me even more driven than I've ever been because I have something to live for."
However, the singer and fashion designer hasn't crossed everything off her bucket list. She wants to film a CMT Crossroads with an unlikely collaborator – Nickelback.
"I love Nickelback," Decker said. "The people have spoken. They love Nickelback. I'm telling you. We have to do it."