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.

Celebrate Women Event Friday, Sept. 16th 11am-6pm

Graphic showing details of September event Celebrating Women.

Don’t miss Desperado with Shoes &… September Event Celebrating Women!  Join us Friday, September 16th starting at 11:00 for luscious libations from Central Oregon’s own micro-distiller Cascade Alchemy, a light lunch and all the fashion and footwear you want.  We’ll be bringing in Vionic Fit Specialist, Johnny Riker, to help you find the perfect pair of shoes that can change your life.  And we mean it!  Vionic is the only footwear endorsed by the Podiatrist Society and come with their own built-in orthotic. And that’s not all.  Meet Bend artist April Lucas as she launches her newest line of custom jewelry April75.  Pick from her fall line or customize your own piece for a unique look that’s fabulous and affordable. Plus – desperado is proud to present our newest clothing line Odd Molly.  We think Odd Molly will be a perfect fit for our boutique – combining exquisite design, impeccable tailoring, and a boho look with a chic flare.  Don’t worry out-of-towners, we’ll have it on our website soon.Graphic showing details of September event Celebrating Women.Graphic of September event Celebrating Women.

Graphic showing details of September event Celebrating Women.

Men’s First Ever Shoe Event by Timberland

Image of Timberland graphic.

 

Gentleman you are in for a treat. We are hosting our first ever shoe event exclusively for men featuring one of our favorite lines of shoes from Timberland. Please join us Friday, June 24th from 5-8 and Saturday, June 25th from 10-6. Our reps from Timberland will be at Shoes &… showcasing their latest in fabulous footwear. Even if you’re not in the market for a new pair of great shoes we hope you will stop by and give us your input to help us develop our men’s shoe lines with what you like best. We’ll be kicking off Friday night with whiskey tasting by local distiller Cascade Alchemy, prizes and giveaways all weekend long including jewelry, gift certificates and a pair of Timberland shoes! And for our woman cliental, Jennifer Anderson of Allora Designs is back by popular demand with her fabulous jewelry line for summer. So please join us for a weekend of fantastic footwear, gorgeous jewelry and of course plenty of fun because at desperado with shoes & more our motto is always: Good Shoes take you Good Places!   

Image of earrings by Allora

Desperado Denim Event – Saturday April 16, 11-7pm

Don't miss our Denim Fit Event with LA Denim Fit Expert Kaitlin Moor of Dear John Denim & Jewelry by Allora!
Second only to finding the perfect bathing suit is the seemingly never-ending search for the perfect pair of great fitting jeans. The choices are many – from low-rise to high-rise, flair to boot cut, to what makes a great color (better known in denim dialogue as ‘wash’). The good news is you don’t need to be a denim expert you just need to know where to find one. Desperado is doing that for you. On Saturday, September 16th from 11:00-7:00pm Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District will hold its second Denim Fit Event with Dear John Denim Expert Kaitlin Moor. Local jewelry designer Jen Anderson of Allora Jewelry will also be hosting a Trunk Show. Denim fit expert Kaitlin Moor resides in Los Angeles and represents one of the America’s leading jean fashion lines: Dear John.

We caught up with Kaitlin recently and picked her brain on what women can expect to learn at Desperado’s Denim Fit Event.

Kaitlin, what is the first thing a woman should think about when investing in a pair of jeans? Fit, Fit, Fit…

Is there a style for everyone? Some rules of thumb when it comes to body types and the best style of denim to fit a woman’s figure? No, there really is not a style for everyone as every body type is different… but as a general rule of thumb, most women can’t go wrong with a good mid-rise bootcut or a mid-rise skinny.

What ‘new trends’ or ‘must haves’ are we seeing in jeans this season? A lot of denim brands are bringing back the “Flare Jean” in various ways… Everything from the 70s Hippie Flare to a more subtle Trouser flare.

Can the right pair of shoes or heel height make a difference? Definitely YES… (Depending on the length and the size of the leg opening)

How much do we really need to spend to get a great pair of jeans? I would say anything in between $80-$120. Anything over that is usually made in Los Angeles and you are paying a “Premium” because of it… The more “expensive” brands are tacking on a lot of costs associated with branding and where it’s made but a lot of those costs really have nothing to do with how good the actual product is.

What advice to you give women when they seek help in finding a new pair of jeans? Try on as many brands as you can and find a brand that fits you well. Every brand tries to cater to as many body types as possible but you will find some brands really fit you better then others.

Desperado’s Denim Fit Event takes place Saturday, April 16th from 11:00-7:00pm in the Old Mill District.

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: desperadoboutique.com and balielf.com

World Class Boot Maker Visits Bend

Scott Emmerich of Tres Outlaws Boots

Scott Emmerich has spent his adult life keeping alive the age-old tradition of custom handmade boot making.  It’s almost a lost art and one only a handful of boot craftsmen continue worldwide today. “I have in-house, 6 of the best master boot makers in the world and 4 who are older and pickup work and take it home,” Emmerich says with a chuckle.  Emmerich then sighs and adds, “My master boot makers range in age from 57 to 86.  When we’re gone, we’re gone.  There’s no boot makers like us anymore.” Emmerich owns and operates The Tres Outlaws Boot Company in El Paso, Texas.
 
 
From tanning their own leather to the finishing polish, Emmerich and his team create custom western boots that are not only molded to fit a customer’s foot perfectly, but every stitch and detail are meticulously and completely done by hand. Emmerich proudly says,

“I like the artistic side of me that can create boots that have never been done before.  You have to engineer them because my boots are art that can also be worn.”

Trest Outlaws Boot CoThis fall, Central Oregonians will get a rare treat and opportunity to meet Emmerich and see some of Tres Outlaws’ prize boots at a special one-day event on Saturday, November 8th.  Joanne Sunnarborg has been a fan of Emmerich and his boots since she opened her store 18 years ago.  “I have a collection of Tres Outlaws Boots and just when I tell myself I have enough, we do a show and I discover a pair I just have to add to my collection,” says Sunnarborg.  As proprietor of Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District, Sunnarborg says, “Bringing Emmerich to the store gives people a chance to learn about boot making and the opportunity to create their own pair of wearable art.”

Tres Outlaws Boots start at about $500 and have gone as high as $50,000.   The ultra expensive boots include details like exotic leathers, 18 karat gold and precious stones.  A simple pair of Tres Outlaws Boots has 210 steps and takes 40 hours to make.  The company makes about 10 pairs a week, and depending on difficulty customers can expect to wait anywhere from 4 weeks to a year to get a pair made.  Emmerich says, “I am very detail oriented.  There are no short cuts when you’re getting the best of the best,” and adds, “My customers know the cost and wait are worth it.”

Tres Outlaws High End BootsRecently a prize pair inspired from a trip to Spain won Emmerich the Western Spirit Award and the People’s Choice Award at the Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  The boots took hundreds of hours to make and nearly 200 different colors can be seen in the butterflies and crosses that adorn the leather. “I like my boots to tell the story of people’s lives or what they love in life,” reflects Emmerich.

Tres Outlaws boots are also featured in numerous books and on display in museums including a permanent exhibit called “Legends of the West” at the George Bush Presidential Library.  Emmerich says, “It’s nice to be in museums, but my favorite part is the testimonials from people who love my boots and making people happy is the largest compliment of all.”

So when asked in our recent phone interview why people should come see his boots when he visits Bend, Emmerich again says with a long laugh, “All you need to bring are your ideas and your feet.  I’ve designed 40,000 boots over the last 32 years and my favorite ones are the ones still in my head.”

Scott Emmerich of Tres Outlaws Boot Company will be at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District on Saturday, November 8th from 12pm-8pm.  330 SW Powerhouse Drive, Ste 120, Bend, OR 541-749-9980 www.desperadowesternwear.com

Central Oregon Sisters Launch New Shoe Line, Debuts at Desperado

Central Oregon sisters, Kelly Beall and Wendy Weems never dreamed of being shoe designers. As little girls growing up in the small farming community of Jefferson, Oregon between Salem and Albany, fashion was not part of their world. “Golly no!” Beall says with a laugh, “There was no fashion in our house. We were either barefoot or wearing cowboy boots.” That was then and this is now. Five years ago Wendy moved to Central Oregon after nearly 20 years in the South. Kelly arrived a year later from Texas. “Oregon is home. We’re proud of where we come from and where we are now”, says Beall.

Beall and Weems are also proud of their new joint venture. Weems says, “Kelly always carried a sketch book full of shoes she had drawn and I kept telling her I want to wear those shoes.” One night Weems says she had an epiphany. “I kept having what I call ‘God-Winks’ telling me this is what we needed to do, so I woke up and called my sister and said come over here and let’s do business,” recalls Weems. Within days Beall and Weems formed a business partnership and began developing Y Knot Branded footwear.

Weems says, “Kelly is the designer and I’m the venture capitalist.” But they come from a family of artists and both lend a hand to design and the finished product. Beall counters, “Wendy will look one of our sample shoes and instantly see that a nail head is one-one-hundredth of an inch out of place. She catches every detail. We make an incredible team” Beall says they began creating what they wanted in footwear, but couldn’t find in stores. “I love my western heritage, but you can’t wear cowboy boots with every outfit.” Beall and Weems find inspiration in everything from a favorite pair of old chaps to a childhood saddle. Even the name ‘Y Knot Branded’ comes from Beall’s registered Oregon horse brand. This spring ‘Y Knot Branded’ launches its first line of footwear. The women’s collection is an array of high heeled and platform sandals and shoes in 15 western influenced styles.

“It feels surreal,” Beall says, “We’ve been a great team and our hard work is paying off.” Y Knot Branded shoes will be in at least 12 stores across the US and Canada this June. But Central Oregon gets a sneak peak this weekend. Beall and Weems will unveil their new line of Y Knot Branded shoes at Desperado in the Old Mill District. This special Trunk Show Event features Y Knot Branded shoes and Old Gringo Boots beginning Friday, May 9 through Sunday, May 11th . Beall says, “We still feel like barn kids, and now we’re barn kids with big dreams.”

Beall and Weems will be at Desperado throughout the trunk show with their new Y Knot Branded collection. For more information call (541) 749-9980.

Y Knot Brand Shoes