Solar Eclipse Jewelry by Jennifer Anderson of Allora Designs

Graphic image of the solar eclipse.

Come Monday, August 21st all eyes will be to the sky – provided you’re wearing your safety glasses –  for a once in a life time glimpse at the solar eclipse.  Central Oregon is in the path of totality and experts predict hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world will flock to Oregon for a look.  Central Oregon is prime viewing because of our great weather and cloudless skies.

One of desperado’s favorite artists Jennifer Anderson of Allora Designs has created a line of jewelry to commemorate this event.  Images of jewelry from artist Jennifer Anderson of Allora Designs.

Jennifer was born and raised in Bend and as a 5th generation Oregonian she jumped at the chance to capture this important historical event in her work.  Inspired by family members who are also artists, Jennifer started her career path as a jeweler more than 15 years ago.  She says jewelry has always been a presence in her life. Her aunt created a variety of pieces, mainly with turquoise, which sparked Jen’s interest in jewelry making and encouraged her to give it a try. It was her father, though, who provided the spark for the inspiration that followed. One night, nearly two decades ago, he gave her a variety of materials and some tools, and then sent her off home to tinker. That tinkering episode lasted the entire night and from it, passion was born.

Image portrait of Jennifer Anderson.Solar eclipse images.We think you’ll love this limited edition line of eclipse inspired jewelry as much as we do.  It will be available in our store and on our website throughout the month of August. Jennifer’s other work can be seen at desperado year round and can be found under the accessories/jewelry tab on our website.

Viewing the eclipse will begin at the Oregon coast and travel on a path to Central Oregon hitting the mountains at Madras and Warm Springs (predicted optimal viewing due to weather patterns) at about 10:19AM.

Actual darkness (if you are directly in the path of totality) will last less than 2 minutes. Bend will NOT experience total darkness, but Madras will.  For more details on safe viewing you can visit 

Desperado with Shoes &… plans to be open on the day of the eclipse, but will likely not open our doors until 12:00 due to congested traffic.  Our normal business hours will be followed on the days before and after the eclipse.

So grab your safety glasses and get ready to see this spectacular event!!! And of course we hope you’ll make us a stopping point on your travels!


Jewelry and eclipse images.
Solar eclipse images.



Care Tips For Your Denim by Dear John

Images of Dear John Jeans.

So you’ve got the perfect jeans, but now what is the best way to care for them and keep them looking good and fitting right???  Dear John Denim has tips for keeping your jeans (no matter what the brand) looking good for years to come.  These great tips come from the Dear John Care tag and even if laundry isn’t your bag this entry is worth the read, we promise!!!

Dear John care tags.


Dear John,

I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through a letter, but this felt better than talking to you in person because I am a wuss like that.  This note will be the last memory you’ll ever have of me.  I’m leaving you and I’m not looking back…This should come as no surprise to you since you’ve ruined every nice pair of denim I’ve every owned.  I have tried reminding you time and time again to machine wash cold with like colors.  To wash denim inside out so that it may retain its color longer and doesn’t damage embellishments or embroidery.  And never use bleach!  Hang dry as lycra, which keeps me comfy, hates the dryer.  But like the typical “Macho Man” that you think you are, you just don’t hear me…I know you listen John…But you never HEAR me and I’m sick of explaining the difference.  So I leave you now and my only hope for you is that you find someone new…and when you do, I hope you’ll be kinder to her denim than you have been with mine… Have a Nice Life!!!  

Dear John Denim Fit Event: May 12th 3-8pm & May 13th 10-6pm

Come see our great selection of Dear John Jeans, plus get your personalized fit

with LA based denim fit expert Kaitlin Moor of Dear John!!!

Image of models in Dear John shorts.


Behind the Scenes at Market – a.k.a. Biggest Retail Show in the World! by Haleigh Newbeck

Graphic of LV Magic Show

There’s nothing quite like Las Vegas. Especially during Market week. We head to market in Las Vegas about two times a year to buy for future seasons. This February, we were buying for Summer, Fall, & early Holiday. Prepping for market is a beast of its own, which includes lots of research on current and future trends, planning a tight schedule, and knowing “our current client”. Central Oregon is a challenge. With a pretty well rounded lists of “regulars” (as we call them 😉) and heavy tourist seasons, it’s up to us to find a balance between high end fashion and practical wardrobe essentials. Which, is not as easy as you’d think.

Collage image of Haleigh, Joanne, & Nicole trying on coats at the Tasha Polizzi booth at Magic in LV.

Myself, Jo, & Nicole- shopping for Fall and Winter outerwear at Tasha Polizzi.

There are four shows we attend: Project & Stitch at Mandalay Bay, WWIN at the Rio, Magic at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Platform which is also at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Each show represents fashion in a completely different light- which is never for the faint of heart.  Project & Stitch house high end designer labels like Johnny Was, Old Gringo, and Tasha Polizzi. This show is always a jaw dropper, leaving us thirsty for all the promises a new season brings as we open our doors to future trends. Platform is specifically for footwear. This show is HUGE, & takes over an entire days worth of walking the booths to see everything. Appointments are made with our best selling brands like Liberty Black and Freebird, but we always leave room to walk the booths in search of new brands to invite in to the store. The Magic show is full of trendy favorites & affordable lines such as Dear John Denim and PJ Salvage. This is where we do a huge bulk of our buying for summer, targeting our tourist traffic and summer essentials for our regulars. Straw hats, long breezy dresses, & bra friendly basics were important for us this year- and we left happy. The WWIN show keeps us on our toes with our long time labels like Last Tango & Vintage Collection. With multiple show rooms, it’s a must stop for us. Plus, they provide complimentary wine after 6:00. 🙂

Left: Half the Platform show at the LV Convention Center. Right: Half of the Magic show in Vegas.

Our days typically start at 8:00 and end around 10:00. We like to power through and only leave time for the essential coffee pit stops (toting snacks are VERY important as there is never time for an actual meal). After a day at Market we like to find the closest bar and talk about our days work over a drink, discussing “slam dunks” (Joanne’s words, lol) and orders we were really comfortable with. Usually, we all have different things to be excited about. This year, we all were elated with Old Gringo & their amazing handmade boots. Hands down: they are wearable art. Who can say no to wearing art for your feet?!

One thing I love to do at Market is text our clients pictures. In the end, you are the reason we go to market, and it’s important to get feedback. It helps to get direction, and it’s fun to get our clients as excited as we are about new trends and future arrivals! There’s nothing better than texting a client a picture and getting this response: “OMG, momma likes!!!”. Or, “Omg, I love that!! Totally me!” Yes, those are actual responses, lol.

Driftwood & their iconic embroidered denim. Plus, Central Oregon Summer essentials at Scala Hats.

This market had a HUGE variety of trends. In some ways it was almost a time machine. The 60’s, 70’s, and 90’s have collided in a big way. Which we are actually kind of excited about. Lots of faux suede, chunky knits, metallics in footwear, western inspiration (TURQUOISE & BUCKLES, oh my!!), nautical chic with embroidery (navy striped everything), flares, and distressed relaxed denim are a must in every closet. Embroidery is still a big statement, along with patchwork and faux fur.

Market is hard work. Our carry-on bag of catalogues and orders weighed 35 lbs, that’s a lot of freaking paper. However it really is one of my favorite parts of managing desperado with shoes &…there’s nothing more inspiring than the beginning of season, and all the ways you can grow your clients wardrobe. It’s incredible to share such a passion for fashion with so many wonderful and life changing people, which fuels every day at Market.

Collage images of LV Market.

Double D & Greeley Hat Works Team Up

Collage images of double d hats with greeley hats works.

It can only be called a match made in heaven when you gaze upon Double D Ranchwear’s newest collection of handmade western inspired hats. That’s because Double D has teamed up with world-renowned hat maker Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works. The two companies each bring to the table a level of expertise that is unprecedented in this type of business venture.

We caught up with Damon Smith, the head production manager of Greeley Hat Works, to hear the back-story of this incredible collaboration. “Double D’s design team searched all over the world for inspiration on this hat collection,” Smith shares. “We worked together in-house to design each hat to reflect that inspiration”, he adds. Combine that attention to design and the craftsmanship of Greeley Hat Works and you have created nothing short of wearable art. Smith has been making hats with Trent for the last 13 years. He says Trent inspects every hat that goes out his door. “Trent puts his name on these hats so you better believe he looks each hat over before they leave here.” Collage images of double d hats & Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works.

The project started last year and its spring collection just arrived at Desperado with Shoes & More. Owner and proprietor Joanne Sunnarborg says, “Our stores’ roots started in Western and Americana fashion so this line of hats is a good fit for our bohemian and lifestyle boutiques. She adds with a smile, “This collection blends lifestyle and fashion and they’re beautiful enough to hang on your wall when they’re not on your head!” Desperado with its new footwear and accessory store, Shoes &… also continues to carry hats from Double D & Greeley Hat Works debut line, which came out last fall. “These hats are timeless. When a customer tries one on it’s fun to see the smile appear on their face. Then they start inspecting the workmanship and design and you know they’re hooked”, says Sunnarborg.

Each hat is handmade on the bench with the same tools and techniques used for more than a century at Greeley Hat Works – the company started in 1909. Presidents, celebrities, and lots of cowboys wear their hats, and if you act quickly you can too!

The Double D/Greeley Hat Works Collection is on the floor now at Desperado. All hats currently available at the store and on the website are sized 7 1/8, but sizing is available upon special order. Please allow 8 to 12 weeks for special orders. All returns on special orders are subject to exchange or store credit only.Collage images of double d hats with greeley hat works.

Images courtesy Double D Ranch & Greeley Hat Works.


desperado with shoes &… Celebrates 20 Years!!! October 7-9

Image of Johnny Was clothing.It’s hard to believe what started out as a western lifestyle store in the heart of Portland’s historic Pearl District 20 years ago has morphed into one of Bend’s best boutique shopping experiences. Desperado with our new footwear and accessory store Shoes &… is pulling out all the stops to celebrate our 20th Anniversary!!! Do not miss this extraordinary event from Friday, October 7th through Sunday, October 9th – same weekend as BendFilm. We will be featuring Trunk Shows from every line of Johnny Was. No kidding – we’ll have some 300 garments from Johnny Was, Biya, JWLA, Pete & Greta, and 4Love & Liberty. Our dear friend and JW expert, Erin Honaker, will be here from LA to help women find that perfect treasure. All garments will be available for special order with delivery before the holidays!Image of Liberty Black boots.
And that’s not all… we’re also flying in Greg Neighbors from Liberty Black Boots for a Trunk Show experience like none other. We’ll have enough boots to seriously overload your wish list. These boots have their roots in traditional Mexican craftsmanship with some 200 steps to create an authentic and well made boot you’ll cherish and wear for years to come!

Image of Doc Ryan & Wychus Creek Band
And of course it wouldn’t be a desperado party without lots of food, libations, festivities, and giveaways! Friday night come for our kickoff party featuring the Americana sound of Doc Ryan & Wychus Creek Band from 6:00-7:30. Whisky tasting from Central Oregon micro-distiller Cascade Alchemy with bottles of their fabulous line of libations available for sale. These signature spirits have become a premier micro-distilled alcohol in the Northwest and include tempting varieties like vodkas infused with chai tea, apple pie, and hot peppers. Bourbon and gin will also be available for your tasting pleasure & purchase.

Festivities & Trunk Shows continue all weekend!!!
Friday, 9/7 – 10:00am-8:00 pm
Saturday, 9/8 – 10:00am-8:00pm
Sunday, 9/9 – 11:00am-6:00pmGraphic logo of Cascade Alchemy.

Fashion Trends and Fashion Finds from Magic

This is a collage from magic.Each year Joanne and members of the desperado team head to Las Vegas to attend ‘Magic’ – the world’s largest retail show in the fashion industry. Their mission: to find the best fashion in clothing, footwear and accessories for the upcoming year. We caught up with Haleigh and Nicole and here’s what they discovered!

What are the fashion trends for 2016?

Haleigh – There were MULTIPLE trends in almost every line we looked at from a low price point to high end. #1 being vegan suede! We saw it in everything from dresses and skirts to jackets. My favorite trend will definitely be the 70’s hippie look. Fringe, bell bottoms, embroidered denim, screen printed tee’s…you name it- Woodstock is back! Another huge trend is the bomber jacket, much more versatile than a denim jacket & so flattering on all shapes and sizes.

Nicole – I noticed orange, melon, and peach seem to be a very popular color scheme for the next year. In addition we saw a lot of booties and fringe!!!

What can we expect from our favorite lines & any new ones to watch out for?
image of the odd molly clothing brand logo

Haleigh – You’ll see new and exciting changes in lines that we currently carry. For example the latest buzzword in fashion is “athleisure,” which means clothes are crazy cute and work for both athletics and leisure! So you’ll see a lot of “crossover” apparel at desperado in the coming seasons with lines like XCVI, Johnny Was, OTBT, and Brokedown. One new line I am so excited about is Odd Molly- stay tuned, cause I am totally going to make room in my closet for multiple pieces of this line.

This is an image of an Odd Molly sweater.

Hooded Sweater by Odd Molly

This is an image of the men's shoe line logo Testosterone
This is an image of shoes from Testosterone

New Footwear by Testosterone

Nicole – – One of the new lines we picked up in Vegas is a men’s shoe line founded in 2013 called: Testosterone. It’s a fashion forward line that we can’t wait to bring to Bend!

What’s the most exciting thing about attending the world’s largest fashion show?

Haleigh – At MAGIC, everything is exciting. My favorite part is probably being able to “step out of the box” (Bend, Oregon lol) of fashion and relish in the company of likewise fashion lovers. It’s truly an amazing experience from beginning to end, and I love everything about it.

Nicole – – As a newbie to the Vegas market, I found the entire experience exciting! From the nonstop daily grind – to meeting new people and discovering different brands – to the amazing energy… it was truly a experience that I’ll never forget!

This is an image of Testosterone men's shoes.

New Men’s Footwear by Testosterone

Must haves in the coming seasons?

Haleigh – The Lace Bralette (for under loose fitting tanks) in a fun color, a pair of embroidered flare denim, a fun/funky pair of sneakers (for the “altheisure” trend, and just to be cute of course!), and investing in some pop of neon. There were shades of orange and neon yellow/green everywhere for spring and summer. A little goes a long way, so even just a necklace with a neon bead will do!

Nicole – A cute wedge bootie that also waterproof! Many footwear brands are leaning toward fashion that’s also practical. Fashion & function is where it’s at.

What ‘Magic’ memory will stay with you?

Haleigh – Fashion is my life- but this year there were SO many dogs!! I loved it!!!! Also, there were some pretty fun memories made. Being a part of a buying team really creates a bond between co-workers and commitment to your store. I can’t wait to sell all the fun new stuff to all our fabulous clients!!

Nicole – My favorite Magic memory was meeting Tony Benattar, the designer and owner of Liberty Boot Co. It was an amazing opportunity to shake his hand and share some laughs with such a talented boot designer!!!

Photo of Tony Benattar from Liberty Boot Company.

Tony Benattar of Liberty Boot Co.

Handbags, Handbags, Handbags!!!

One of the most exciting things about opening Shoes &… by desperado is the “&…” which means lots more in the way of accessories like news lines of jewelry, scarves, and of course… HANDBAGS! We have always taken great pride in carrying amazing handbag lines. Since the opening of our new shoe and accessory store we’ve taken that pride to a whole new level.

Hobo the original

Sheila by Hobo

Hobo in Frost

Hobo in Frost

Hobo the original is a line we started carrying at Desperado more than a year ago and now we’ve more then quadrupled our collection to include fantastic bags, clutches and a wide variety of amazing wallets.

We like to say, “made by women, designed by women,” as you’ll discover in each great piece made with the finest leather, gorgeous linings and the perfect hidden pocket for easy access to our cell phones! Hobo’s unmatched quality, and incredible construction never go out of style making this handbag line one you will cherish for years.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha

Another new line of handbags at Shoes &… is Big Buddha, our incredible line of vegan leather bags that are sure to get a girl noticed. This line of handbags blends flirty fashion with practical and versatile design. Big Buddha uses rich, luxurious materials that look and feel great, at an affordable price. Big Buddha bags feature all the function you’re looking for with plenty of pockets, adjustable shoulder straps and top zippers.

And that’s just a sampling of what’s new at Shoes &… by desperado!

Karmen Gold Clutch

Karmen Gold Clutch


Graya by Big Buddha

Graya by Big Buddha

Grayson by Big Buddha

Grayson by Big Buddha


Desperado Opens New Shoe & Accessory Store

DSC_2272Charles David-part1-5minnetonka SHOT12_AMANDA_2509

Desperado’s rebrand success leads to the opening of New Shoe Store In Bend’s Old Mill District 

by Rebecca Meade

After nearly 20 years in the boutique world, Bend clothing storeowner Joanne Sunnarborg is expanding her business this fall with the grand opening of Shoes &… by desperado. “We are truly excited to be opening a shoe and accessory store in the Old Mill District. It’s what our customers are asking for. It’s filling a niche of fashionable footwear and accessories that will be chic and comfortable,” says Sunnarborg.   “I want people to be able to wake up to snow and know they have footwear from my store that will get them down the driveway and will look great in the office too,“ Sunnarborg says smiling. She then quickly adds, “And when you’re heading south in the middle of January, we’ll carry year-round great vacation footwear too.”

Two years ago Desperado rebranded its boutique. The store moved away from being a high-end western specialty store and created a boutique experience that Sunnarborg says better meets customer’s needs. “We changed up our clothing to fashion forward, trend setting lines, some with a unique bohemian flair. It’s working, and we intend to follow that success in our new shoe store,” Sunnarborg shares with pride. Boots will continue to be part of what the new store offers.

Shoes &… by desperado will have its grand opening along with its sister store’s 19th Anniversary with a Trunk Show Celebration on October 16th-18th. The Friday night kickoff party will feature live music by local favorite Moon Mountain Ramblers. Libations will be offered all weekend long.

Shoes &… will be located right next to Desperado on the Old Mill District’s North end. The new shoe store will have its own entrance on Powerhouse Drive, but will be accessible from Desperado by a doorway between the two stores. “They are definitely two separate stores, but we want people to be able to easily access our shoes and accessories to go with a new outfit or be able to pick out clothes to match that great new pair of heels,” says Sunnarborg. “I’ve built my business on customer service. We believe the new shoe store is another way to better serve our growing clientele. We are very lucky to live in a community that loves to shop local. Bend’s economy may be tourist based, but our core demographic is from right here in Central Oregon,” she says.

The new shoe store will offer a wide variety of footwear at a moderate price point. Many of the shoe lines will range in price from about $75 to $150 with an emphasis on quality and fashion, and still be comfortable. Cost of the boots will generally run higher. “We will still carry our amazing cowboy boots by companies like Old Gringo, Liberty Black, and Tres Outlaws. They’ve become mainstream and are a ‘must have’ in many women’s and men’s closets,” Sunnarborg smiles. She is bringing in world-renowned custom boot maker, Tony Benattar of Liberty Boot Company, for the new shoe store’s grand opening. “He’s the best of the best when it comes to custom boots. Seeing this level of craftsmanship is something not to miss,” says Sunnarborg.

Sunnarborg says she will also carry amazing fashion lines by shoe designers like OTBT, Sofft, Steve Madden, Bernie Mev, Charles David, ASH, Minnetonka, Free Bird and Timberland for men. Jewelry, scarves and handbags will round out the accessories portion of the new store. Sunnarborg say, “I plan to listen to my customers. If there is a shoe or handbag line they like, I want to know about it. I want to know what’s important to them. It’s how we do business and as we like to say these days – it’s in our sole.”

Find your Sole and much more in Bend’s newest shoe boutique, featuring footwear and accessories that will make your inner and outer self-shine.





Central Oregon Shoe Designer brings Bali Handmade Footwear to Bend

For now Central Oregon entrepreneur Melissa Kuchta only dreams of traveling to Bali.  The Bend mother of two has never been to the Indonesian Island often described as paradise with white sandy beaches, volcanic mountains and lush jungle landscapes.  It is the island’s cultural side that made this remote island in the Indian Ocean the ideal spot to start her handbag and footwear company.  “Bali is an amazing island, full of soul and culture, with so many amazing artisans.  It is also a haven for making high quality leather products,” says Kuchta. 

Kuchta says she always knew she would work in fashion. Nearly a decade ago, she began making plans to launch her own footwear and handbag company.  “The U.S. is impossible because of expenses, I didn’t want to go to China, and I was drawn to Bali,” Kuchta recalls. 

So via the Internet, Kuchta began searching Bali for someone to help make her dream of creating handmade shoes and handbags a reality.  That someone is Russian born leather manufacturer and designer Olga Luchanskaya.  “We just clicked instantly. Our design sense, our attention to quality and customer service are all the same,” says Kuchta.  In 2009 the two women, living worlds apart, launched their footwear and handbag company: Elf, which stands for Everyone. Living. Free.  Kuchta says with a chuckle, “Our name may not have huge inspiration; we just liked it.” 

Luchanskaya lives in Bali and oversees all production.  Kuchta is responsible for distribution.  “Elf shoes and handbags are in 50 stores nationwide, as well as Japan, Australia, and Canada,” Kuchta says with pride.  Kuchta and Luchanskaya work together diligently, designing new styles each season.  “We have 400 different styles of shoes and an extensive handbag line.  We add new styles to our collection every six months,” says Kuchta.  To minimize impact on the environment, paper comes from locally sourced cocoa plants, and all the leather is hand dyed on the island.   Elf products are not made with large machines.   “I think what sets us apart is everything we do is truly made by hand.  Even our patterns are cut by hand,” says Kuchta.   “When we say handmade, we really mean it.   Every pair of shoes is double and triple checked,” says Kuchta.    

At the end of this month Kuchta will debut her shoes in Bend with her first ever Central Oregon Elf Footwear and Handbag Trunk Show at Desperado in the Old Mill District.  “I will have samples of my spring collection available for people to see and feel,” says Kuchta.  She’ll also have leather and color samples and a tape measure to ensure perfect fit.  “People will have the opportunity to order whatever they want.  What’s most important to us is customer service.  We make it right,” says Kuchta. 

Elf footwear runs about $110-$190 a pair. Handbags cost about $110 for a clutch to weekend travel bags retailing for about $320.  The Elf – Everyone. Living. Free. Trunk Show will be held on Saturday, May 30th from 12:00-7:00pm at Desperado in the Old Mill District at 330 SW Powerhouse Drive.    

To see more of Kuchta’s shoes and handbags check out these websites: and