One of the biggest shifts we are seeing within the western industry is the shift to the “Urban Cowboy,” those that like the western style but live near the city. A good indicator of this trend is the development of clothing/apparel lines and companies like Southern Thread, Wrangler’s Rock 47, PanHandle Slim’s Rock and Roll Cowboy/Cowgirl and Justin’s Bent Rail Boots.
A big driving force behind this movement are the Rock and Roll Cowboy singers and bands such as Randy Roger’s Band, Jason Aldean, and Casey Donahew Band. There seems to be an ever growing fan base behind these bands and companies want to find ways to market to these groups. Companies seem to have found the right mix as both boots and apparel from these companies have been quite heavy in terms of sales.
You’ll find many of these items with heavy embroidery and embellishments on both shirts and boots. You’ll find that many of these shirts include snaps rather than buttons and are usually but not always louder in color and style.
It is definitely a shift away from the Old West with the western yokes, pearl snaps, and smiley pocket with the big plaids. The Old West apparel is becoming harder and harder to find but it doesn’t seem to be going away completely. I think a lot of people would roll over in their grave if the Old West apparel ever went away completely. There are enough people out there still ranching and roping that need something that is more practical than fashion.
What are your thoughts on this shift in the western market? Do you like where it’s going? Do you wish it’d stay the same? Let us know and we’ll get back to you!