Alicia Keys has a new project coming out, and it has nothing to do with music. On the celebrated pianist’s birthday (today!), she announced that she is partnering with performance lifestyle brand Athleta to not only help women go through day-to-day life looking and feeling their best, but to also do a wealth of other things, including succeed at business and connect meaningfully through community conversations. While people see Keys the star musician, behind the scenes, she’s a wellness lover and a big fan of Athleta offerings, so the partnership was meant to be.
“I love my meditation, I love my workouts. It’s something I decided that I have to practice because it helps my spirits, it helps my energy, helps my vision, all the things. Athleta, when I do my meditation, I wear what they have and I love how soft it is and it just feels fluid and easy,” she tells ESSENCE. “So when the opportunity came for us to connect and work together, it felt so good because not only was I already a fan, but I was excited to create with them something that was really about purpose and positivity and women and body consciousness and diversity. I love how invested they are in women, obviously that’s the same for me. So it felt perfect.”
The Athleta x Alicia Keys collection will launch in March in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8) and will go up to size 3X, which the star is proud of because it will be accessible to more women to conquer the every day.
“There’s a real energy about making sure that women feel at their best, feel limitless, feel purposeful and powerful. You can go from meditation to taking your kids to school to a brunch,” she says. “You can rock and you can also be effortlessly chic and just feel great.”
You can expect plenty of color from the upcoming pieces. Previews of what’s to come include a chic jumpsuit in a rich, dark pink and luxurious sets that can take you from yoga to running errands in style. There are amazing staples you can mix and match, and everything is made with great detail.
But as mentioned, Keys is also looking to help women feel powerful in a way that doesn’t only have to do with clothes. She’s helping with the brand’s Power of She Fund to be a mentor and advisor to grants programs. These programs will support women of color by helping them to obtain the funds to make wellness and fitness more inclusive in their communities. “It’s really about grants and creating opportunities to help businesses expand,” she says. “Everybody’s really out here trying their best so support is necessary.”
And support is also necessary to wade through the ups and down of life. As part of the AthletaWell digital platform’s Community Conversations, Keys will be supporting the well-being of women by digging into important topics, including chats about doubt and guilt, finding life’s purpose, beauty and what defines it, what success means and more.
“I talk a lot. I love to talk,” she says. “I love to dig into people’s minds. So I have plenty of things to build on and talk about that I think we’re all thinking about.”
And though Keys is a 15-time Grammy-winning superstar, she is also a woman who can relate to the self-doubt we’re all wishing to combat. She’s just managed to do that through her music, and in turn, empowered other women.
“‘Woman’s Worth,’ ‘Girl on Fire,’ ‘Superwoman,’ these songs are really written, mostly, because I need it,” she admits. “To be able to share it from what I’m feeling, the doubt you feel, you don’t feel so strong, don’t feel so capable or it doesn’t feel like things are going to work out, talking from that space and reminding us that there is possibility and there aren’t any ceilings and things are going to happen for you. There’s a greatness within us that’s unstoppable no matter what.”
She’s also a woman trying to carve out time to feel her best physically, which Athleta helps with. This girl on fire is a busy mom who makes an effort to prioritize wellness, sometimes at the wee hours of the morning, planning each day based on the schedules of sons Egypt, 11, and Genesis, 7. Who can’t relate?
“If I’m taking the kids to school and we need to leave by 7:45 a.m. and they have to wake up by 7 because they’re slow as ever if not 6:45, that means I’m sometimes having to get up at 6 so I can get in a meditation,” she shares. “If I want an hour workout, I have to get up at 5:30. Sometimes it’s a little early. But listen, not all the time. Sometimes I’m just tired and I just sleep, too. It’s totally going with the flow. But I do rock my Peloton. I love this cardio dance routine with Anna Kaiser and Jeanette Jenkins. I love this style that’s a workout for your mind, body and spirit called The Class. I love my meditation. I love yoga. I love Pilates. I like to switch it up and make it happen.”
With that in mind, this collection with Athleta is for everyone, but especially for multitasking mothers, like herself.
“I am a mom on the move and that’s what I really love. This line is interchangeable. You can put it with jeans, wear the entire outfit as is, you can run out to the store, come back, make sure your kids are good and you’re still looking great by the way,” she says. “You’re looking great but you’re comfortable, you’re casual, you feel good, it’s effortless, you don’t have to try too hard. It accentuates the right places and hides the other places. For moms, for us and for women and for everybody in general who has a lot that we’re trying to accomplish in a day, I love that [this line] goes through different parts of the day with you.”