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Justin Timberlake models his Southern roots

Justin Timberlake is changing his "Mr. Sexy Back" image to "Mr. Sexy Backwoods." The music star took an A-list New York Fashion Week crowd to Tennessee for his William Rast show on Sunday, treating them to buckets of Budweiser.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Justin Timberlake is shaking his “Mr. Sexy Back” reputation for something more like “Mr. Sexy Backwoods.”

Timberlake took an A-list New York Fashion Week crowd to Tennessee for his William Rast show on Sunday, treating the likes of Vogue editor Anna Wintour to buckets of Budweiser.

Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly and Emmanuelle Chriqui of HBO's “Entourage” were among those squished in the front row with Andy Samberg of “Saturday Night Live,” model Rachel Hunter and actress Carla Gugino. The runway was set like an extended front porch to a run-down house, complete with a mounted deer head and the Tennessee state flag in the window.

Asked about his inspiration, Timberlake said, “It's a lot of stuff, but old Tennessee, new Tennessee — mostly Tennessee.”

Timberlake has said he doesn't want to be known as "Mr. Sexy Back" forever, although he's not complaining about the attention.

“I don't want to be known for just one thing,” he said backstage, nursing a cup of hot tea for a sore throat. “Maybe that's why I do so many things.”

The William Rast spring collection, designed with Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg and his Italian wife, Marcella, was what Timberlake and partner Trace Ayala said they'd always been shooting for.

It was hard to imagine the celebrities wearing torn jeans and rolled up jean shorts paired with leather and fringe — some of which looked more suited to the pages of Guns & Ammo than Vogue. But tailored leather jackets looked more refined, along with super-short, super-wide ties like the one Timberlake wore on the “Fashion Rocks” red carpet.

Timberlake also presented a movie-style trailer where he plays an outlaw character named William Rast — a combination of his and Ayala's grandfathers' names — as a promotion for the brand.