Dierks Bentley is many things: a Grammy-nominated recording artist, a father, a doting husband, and a restaurant/bar owner — but a fashionista isn’t one of them.
“When I get dressed in the morning, I’m pretty much just looking around on the floor for whatever looks the most clean,” Bentley tells PEOPLE exclusively.
However, his lack of effort when it comes to his personal style didn’t stop him from getting into the fashion business. After being approached by Flag & Anthem, a brand that specializes in wardrobe essentials like flannels, t-shirts and denim, the “Living” singer found himself investing in the company and creating his own clothing line.
“I’ve never really thought about my collection as fashion because I don’t feel like a fashion guy,” Bentley says. “But I feel like Flag & Anthem sells stuff that my fans would wear and that I would wear. It’s a lot of pearl snaps, plaid, good denim and distressed t-shirts. It kind of looks like old, beat up stuff that feels like it has a little bit of a story to tell.”
Bentley wanted his “Desert Son” collection to give off that same vibe and tell his story, so he created a collection of graphic tees, tanks, hats, duffles and flannels that resemble the items he wears on a daily basis, whether on stage or at home.
“It’s a little bit of Kris Kristofferson — cleanest dirty shirt — mixed with a little bit of Arizona desert rat,” he says. “Then, of course, being a southern transplant for the last 27 years definitely has a little bit of an influence as well.”
But with his most recent addition to his collection, the “I Hold On” singer wanted to honor other people’s stories, especially many of the fans he meets on tour. For Veteran’s Day, Bentley created a t-shirt that honors military veterans and their families.
“In country music we have a strong connection to folks in the military,” he says. “There’s not one show where I don’t meet a veteran or somebody who’s family member is a veteran. In country music, we celebrate veterans every day. On the road every night we talk about our military friends and family, but we wanted to create something that honored them on the national holiday.
All proceeds from the shirt sales go toward Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization started by Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney that provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen and disabled soldiers.
“Dan does such important work taking care of these families who have lost someone in the military and making sure the kids can go finish high school or college or go get a graduate degree and have it paid for,” Bentley says. “I think any soldier out there, if they were not to make it home, would want to make sure their kids are taken care of. Giving your kids a great education is the greatest gift you can pass along to them, and this organization is unbelievable in doing that.”
RELATED VIDEO: Dierks Bentley Launches Clothing Line With Flag & Anthem
When designing the shirt, Bentley wanted it to reflect both the organization and his own story. The end result was a black t-shirt with three stars across the front, along with his signature “Riser bird” printed in camo. On the sleeve, the shirt features the Folds of Honor logo.
“This shirt was something big for me to be a part of and a way for all of us to use our collective good will to help out Folds of Honor, not only financially, but also to bring awareness to their organization and what they do,” Bentley says. “That’s what’s so awesome to me.”
Bentley debuted the shirt during a concert at West Point Military Academy on Oct. 18. The shirt is now available for purchase for $26.50, with all proceeds benefiting Folds of Honor.