W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.
Issue link: http://wetoday.epubxp.com/i/657211
SPRING 2016 Western & English Today 17 W hen Valentino's co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri walked the Paris runway in cowboy boots at the end of the brand's menswear show in Janu- ary, even Vogue had to sit up and take notice. For the past several years, mainstream fashion trends have dominated the Western boot world. Now haute couture is taking its cue from Western. Which means that 2016 is poised to be the biggest crossover year yet. Practically every major bootmaker — Ariat, Dan Post, Cinch, Justin, Lucchese, Nocona, Smoky Mountain, Stet- son, Tanner Mark, Tony Lama, Twisted X, Rocky, Du- rango, et al. — has a selection of fashion-forward of erings this year, while others — Bed/Stu, Corral, Liberty Black, Old Gringo, Son ora, Lane, etc. — have been championing contemporary trends for a while. T e formula for manufacturers is simple enough. "Keep it moving, keep it updated, and keep it fresh," says Stacie Westerhausen, the vice president of merchandising at Kar- man Inc. (parent company for Stetson, Roper, and Tin Haul), who helps design the Stetson women's boots line. T at's probably why Grand Prairie, Texas-based Lane Boots approached Robert Kipperman about designing a new line in concurrence with the bootmaker's forte: fash- ion-forward women's Western boots. Kipperman is the genius behind Kippys in Coronado, California, a high-end manufacturer of blinged-out leather jackets, belts, purses, and one-of-a-kind accouterments that is known for outf t- ting Hollywood celebrities and rodeo queens. "I went with Lane because they have a very comfort- able shoe and they're nice people," says Kipperman, who has produced or helped design boots before, including for high-end manufacturer Tres Outlaws Boot Company. Given a boot pattern from Lane, Kipperman was grant- ed the freedom to make the top "any way I want," which meant all-Italian leather, Swarovski crystals, and/or pearls. T e boots are called Lane Boots by Kippys. "I wanted them to be the primary," Kipperman says. "I don't have that much of an ego." But he does see a bonus to creating the boots for Lane. "T e boots can match my clothes," Kipperman says. "I can create a matching belt, skirt, jacket, vest. It gives the customer a chance to create her own special package, and the retailer can market them together." Another tag-team ef ort is being created by Mercedes, Texas-based Anderson Bean Boot Company Inc. (part of the Rios of Mercedes family, which also includes Olathe Boot Company) and LaDane Smith of the popular At T e Ranch showroom in the Denver Merchandise Mart. Smith, formerly a designer with Lane Boots, is creating a line of women's boots for Anderson Bean called Miss Macie. "It's been really, really cool working for this company," Smith says. "[Miss Macie is] for the girl who wants styling and has got a step of her own." Anderson Bean hopes to have samples by June with delivery as early as August. For high fashion looks, Ariat has introduced the Dis- trict collection, which speaks primarily to Western and Americana inf uences while its new Ombre design follows a more mainstream look. "Each boot is hand-painted, and no two pairs are alike," says Shane Holman, senior direc- tor of global Western consumer trend and market devel- opment for the Union City, California-based brand. "T e artisan details and handcraf smanship are impeccable." Ariat's Unbridled Collection of ers af ordable, fashion- forward footwear for the urban cowgirl with booties, san- dals, and wedges. Fort Worth, Texas-based Justin Brands Inc. continues its equal commitment to fashion and function with Justin Boots' collection of casual short (7-inch) and tall (15-inch) boots that address contemporary trends. Nocona's Karma aims for a more classic Western look, while its Posh collec- tion debuts modern 6-inch booties and mules. "It's like every fashion trend," says Lisa Albert, Justin Brands' senior communications manager. "It's going to come back, so don't throw it away." Also at Justin Brands, Tony Lama is adding contempo- rary designs to its 100% Vaquero Collection and is bring- ing its men's Cushion Comfort Ariat liberty black (continued on page 20) P H OTO G R A P HY: S T U D I O S E V E N P R O D U C T I O N S