This year marks the third year of Western Runway, and let me tell you, we could not be any more excited to be here. The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) and all that encompasses our pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the best 10 days of rodeo is something that we look forward to all year long.
That being said, a lot has changed since we first started this magazine. Most recently, we have seen a great deal of discussion about what western fashion is, and what it “is not”. In our humble opinions, it is not anyone’s job to determine what western fashion may or may not consist of. The west cannot be put in a box, nor can fashion as a whole, so why attempt to? The world needs Dale Evans in a wild rag, as much as it needs Carrie Bradshaw in a red straw cowboy hat.
This issue features some of the best when it comes to riding, roping, and cutting—and they can do it in square toes, as well as they can in a custom-designed dress. Whatever these women, or any woman, want to wear and classify as “western” is fine by us. Founded on American heritage, western fashion is meant to be worn by anyone who carries the spirit of the west, and we can attest to the amount of western spirit that fills the already-crowded streets of Las Vegas each December. The west is kind. The west is classy. The west has grit. The west is unique. And without a doubt, the west is wild. So naturally, western fashion should encompass all of that, and so much more.
As a western fashion enthusiast who is reading this letter, I’d like to prepare you for what’s to come. I can guarantee that next year you will be seeing more of western fashion than ever before. Western trends have been hitting various Fashion Week runways for the past few seasons, and September’s New York Fashion Week was the largest showing yet. The Chinese might be calling it the “Year of the Pig”, but for the fashion-obsessed, 2019 will undoubtedly be the “Year of the Cowgirl”.
Those of us with western styles will have more pieces to choose from than ever before, which gives us more of an opportunity to express our fashion tastes in new ways. With that also comes the somewhat unfortunate. In the year to come, we are going to see a few backward cowboy hats. We’re going to see some boots that do not do justice to the leather they are built out of. Yet again, it is not our job to decide what or who is, or is not, western. Let’s not call out those who do not do it the way we would. Instead, let us take this opportunity to come together to be cheerleaders for the west and our way of life, and prove just why it is not just our fashion sense that hits the mark, time and time again.
For this year’s issue of Western Runway, we spent numerous hours curating pieces and looks that western fashionistas across the board can relate to. We focused on including more pieces that appealed to the generations of our mothers and grandmothers, the true style icons of our industry. We spent time talking to some of the most iconic women in the western industry, like Shada Brazile, Megan Holdren, and Rachel McGinn. As always, Western Runway is a magazine made by western fashion enthusiasts, for western fashion enthusiasts, and this year is no exception.
Personally, we cannot wait to see where western fashion is headed. This is a brand new fashion frontier, and you can find us on the front lines. If we see you in Vegas, and you’ve got your hat on backward, you can be certain that the ladies from Western Runway will help you fix it. After all, real cowgirls help fix each other’s hats.
-The Western Runway Team
Want to see more from Western Runway? Then come join our Facebook community, All Things Western, a place for those who have a love of the western industry. In addition to an empowering place you can call home, this group will also give you a first look at Western Runway content, access to special giveaways with our partners, and a whole lot more!