On the eve of a national appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Thursday night, The Suffers' lead singer Kam Franklin enjoyed a brief respite from a national tour with the band to indulge in her favorite pastime — shopping for cowboy boots in Houston.
While she is earning raves for her singing voice, Franklin jokes that it's not too farfetched to call her the "Boot Lady." "If I'm going out anywhere kind of fancy, 90 percent of the time I will be in boots," she says. "I know I'll be married in boots."
In town for a few days to sing the national anthem at the Dynamo opener and perform with the band before the game, Franklin was wearing her favorite boots — a pair of Kacey for Lucchese white boots with a fringed gold arrow down the side from a limited edition collection designed by country singer Kacey Musgraves — while visiting the Lucchese store in Highland Village because she didn't want them out of her sight. Franklin's other boots and winter clothing are already in Minnesota, where the band performs tonight.
The band will appear on Kimmel Thursday night, but they taped it last week, performing the song, "Midtown" (it's about Leon's Lounge) from their debut album, titled The Suffers, which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign. (Supporters chipped in nearly $60,000 to make the album a reality.) This comes on the heels of an appearance on The Daily Show last month and their national debut on Letterman last year.
While rocketing to fame, Franklin has become the band's style icon by pairing colorful dresses with hip cowboy boots and funky jewelry. The describes her on-stage style as "a mix between Vegas showgirl and modern day woman....I feel like you can be comfortable and sexy at the same time."
She started wearing boots a few years ago after she broke her ankle and couldn't wear heels and soon found they fit her style. "Boots were that connector to still feeling feminine as far as my fashion was concerned. It allows me to dance and still feel sassy at the same time," she said.
"About 5 years ago, it probably wasn't something that I was really thinking about because I never really thought I need to dress a certain way on stage, but now that we're getting more successful it's really giving me a lot more time to embrace what I like to wear. And I've learned that boots and bright colors, that's me."
She culled down her boot selection to seven pairs, which she interchanges. For the Kimmel show, she plans to wear the white Kacey for Lucchese boots with a A-line paisley print dress she picked up from A Leap of Style, an African-inspired fashion line created by Houstonian Karissa Lindsay. "I really wanted to represent Texas this time around," Franklin said.
She also considers the fashion website ModCloth a go-to source for apparel and jewelry.
Having a few days off before heading back on the road has been heavenly, Franklin said, particularly for band members who are newlyweds and missing their spouses. "Any excuse to come home is a good one and we were freezing our butts off, so it was nice to come home to 80 degree weather," she said.
After three weeks touring in the Midwest and Northeast, they will return to Houston for a free show on April 16 to celebrate Art Blocks, a big downtown art installation. "Our last couple of shows in Houston were pretty expensive and sold out pretty quickly, so I'm really excited that we're doing a family friendly, kid friendly show that's free to the public," she said.
In the colder climes, Franklin has had to make some fashion adjustments. "Luckily all or our shows are all inside so I can still show a little leg and whatnot. Arriving to the shows and leaving the venues I look like a crazy person covered in layers. But as far as those shows are concerned I'm still covered in sequins and wearing boots."
Houston fans of The Suffers can catch their peformance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at a watch party Thursday night at Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama.