Alicia Keys has an important message for you: Be good to yourself. In a world that endorses grind culture — the compulsion to hustle, the expectation to achieve excellence — it makes sense that the idea of being kind to yourself, to nurture and prioritize one’s well-being might seem, unfortunately, like a radical concept.
“We’re taught to kill ourselves, to work a million hours, that the less sleep you get, the better — and somehow that’s noble,” Keys says over Zoom, noting that some of her favorite songs she’s written (including “A Woman’s Worth,” “Superwoman,” and “Girl On Fire”) serve as a reminder for those times when you may not feel your most powerful. “A lot of the time, the reason I wrote those songs was because I needed to get myself there. I’ve learned the hard way what it looks like not to take care of yourself — you easily reach a breaking point, so before we get there, I want to establish a way of taking care of yourself, of your soul.”
And she’s doing precisely that with her latest venture — an inclusive collection with Athleta, with sizes ranging from XXS to 3X, that thrusts wellness to the forefront by celebrating diversity, comfort that fuses high-performance fabrics and thoughtful silhouettes, and an active lifestyle through versatile styles that can be mixed and matched. Ultimately, it’s a collection of pieces that Keys loves to wear and incorporates into her life herself.
“I wanted it to be clothing you can wear to do your workout, to go to lunch, to drop your kids off at school — whatever you’re doing, you can do it and look great,” enthuses Keys, who admits to basically living in the collab, wearing pieces to studio sessions or pilates classes. “I’ve always been a fan of Athleta, and what we created together is so good. It’s so beautiful.”
Everything was designed to be interchangeable, with well-considered colorways that blend vibrant hues, like bold fuchsias and vivid oranges, with mellower palate cleansers, such as rich browns, crisp whites, and warm marigold yellows. Temper a bright pink with a brown or dial up the drama by pitting fuchsia with orange — the possibilities are endless. “These are shades that really inject you with this feeling of power,” Keys asserts.
And nothing validated her more than when she met the other models during the campaign shoot, all of whom fawned over the pieces. “They were like, ‘We love the colors, we love how it feels,’ and it was so gratifying to see how good they felt,” Keys recalls. “There were three women — one in her early 50s, a 17-year-old, and a beautiful woman who is an amputee — and the collection looked stunning on each one of them. It’s really powerful: As women, to be able to feel good in our bodies. It’s frustrating when clothes don’t fit or aren’t versatile. When you can find what you love in your size, it really does feel good.”
Keys’ mission to empower women doesn’t stop at her collection. She also joins Athleta as an advisor and mentor to the brand’s The Power of She Fund’s Wellness for All, a grant program committed to making well-being more accessible to women and girls and businesses, specifically in the BIPOC community. “There’s so much purpose around this collaboration,” she says. “It’s all about supporting women, to feel our best.”
Keep scrolling to find out what Keys has to say about her favorite Alicia Keys x Athleta pieces.
A standout one-piece, this bold, fuchsia-saturated jumpsuit is crafted from a parachute-woven fabric, making it lightweight, soft, and durable.
“I want to inspire women to feel powerful, to dress with confidence, to be active, to feel good, so I did a jumpsuit,” Keys says. “I’m a big jumpsuit-wearer; I could live in jumpsuits. This particular one is in a bold fuchsia, and it has this beautiful back. It has a mini cape, so you can see your back as you wear it. It’s not overdone — just a little peekaboo — and it feels really fantastic.”
A robe so versatile, you can wear it at home and outside. Spun from a buttery-soft fabric, this layering piece can be draped over any look (plus, pockets).
“The maxi robes are one of the pieces I love to wear,” Keys says. “They drape so gorgeously, and you can put that on over any outfit.”
A skin-skimming pair of tights — featuring an unpinchable three-layer waistband — that offers both support and comfort.
“I love high-waisted leggings, especially for us mamas. They give you extra support, and they’re flattering,” Keys says. “They make every body shape look good.”
With its beautifully tailored fit and irresistibly chic mock neck silhouette, this high-performance tank doubles as a sleek, wear-everywhere top.
“For more of an outfit, we have these sleeveless tops with a mock neck, and you can pair them with your leggings,” Keys says.
It doesn’t get more versatile than this: a goes-with-everything crop top, especially in a crisp cream white colorway, that boasts a chafe-free seamless construction for maximum comfort.
“This scoop-neck tank is so cool,” Keys says. “You can style it with jeans or leggings, or layer it underneath the jumpsuit.”
Constructed from a cool-to-the-touch sandwashed modal fabric, this super-soft pair prioritizes comfort without compromising support, thanks to its high-rise waistband.
“This pant is really elegant and fresh, because it has this beautiful texture and a wide leg,” Keys says. “You can wear it with a heel or with a sneaker. It’s a look, but one that’s also so, so comfortable.”
For those who don’t want to commit to the jumpsuit, slip on the high-waist utility pant, instead, which exudes the same effortlessly cool, sporty vibe.
“Don’t you love a cargo pant?” Keys asks. “It’s made from a windbreaker material, and you can work out in it, you can go for a run in it, or you can pop on a sports bra or a tank and just feel amazing.”
This two-in-one sleep set is not only reversible, but it’s also constructed from the softest fabric, making it, quite frankly, a dream to sleep in.
“We have the most beautiful, super-soft sleep sets, and they’re actually reversible, so one side is the bright fuchsia and the other is the orange,” Keys says. “I love the practicality of it. It’s great for traveling, and it’s also fun to wear.”
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