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.

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

Desperado’s Denim Event

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 about to do that for you.
This Saturday, September 20th from 2:00-6:00pm Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District will hold its first Denim Event with Dear John Denim Expert Kaitlin Moor. Moor resides in Los Angeles and represents one of America’s leading jean fashion lines: Dear John.

We caught up with Dear John’s Denim Designer David Tak recently and picked his brain on what women can expect to learn at Desperado’s Denim Event.

David, 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 70’s 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.

Thanks David!

To find your personal best fitting pair of denim visit Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District. Dear John’s fitting expert will be at the boutique Saturday, Sept 20th from 2:00-6:00pm. Enjoy prizes, special giveaways and signature cocktails from Bendistillery.

To see proper care of your Dear John denim, click HERE

Y Knot Branded

Y Knot Branded founders Kelly Beall & Wendy Weems were featured in the Bend Bulletin June 10, 2014. We were happy to have been involved with their photo shoot!

Sisters-based Y Knot Branded to launch shoe line
By Valerie Smith • The Bulletin / Published Jun 10, 2014 at 12:01AM

Central Oregon sisters Kelly Beall and Wendy Weems saw a void in women’s fashion footwear for shoes that brought together the big city and the Old West.

So the duo, who manage their business from their homes in Sisters and Tumalo, started Y Knot Branded and plan to launch their first shoe collection, Alpha Mare, next month. Weems is the sole investor, and Beall the lead designer.

The company specializes in shoes that are a cross between traditional Western styles and high-end heels. Beall and Weems say Y Knot Branded is, “Where New York and the Old West collide.”

Those in the Alpha Mare collection feature hand-tooled leather similar to designs found on Western saddles. Some shoes are adorned with silver nail heads; some have conchos; and others sport Western buckles.

They have names like Tequila Sunset, a celosia orange-colored shoe, CowDiva and Cowboy’s Sweetheart.

The sisters’ love of horses and ranching inspired the designs, Weems said.

“The trends for women in Western lifestyles are usually frilly skirts and dresses,” Weems said. “They always have to wear cowboy boots. A cross between boots and flip-flops or heels has never been explored before.”

The sisters started the business in January 2013, formally branding their company in January 2014.

The shoes will be showcased at Desperado Boutique in the Old Mill District and High Desert Ranch and Home, both located in Bend. Ten other retail locations across the U.S. and three in Canada will also sell the shoes.

Y Knot Branded sells shoes wholesale, not directly to consumers. However, it does offer online shopping through two retailers, via YKnotBranded.com.

Beall, who thought of the initial idea for the products, designed and worked in the Western fashion industry for close to 20 years. Weems, an artist and sculptor, put in the money to make the business happen.

“The other ideas that she’s had were amazing, but this one is just unique, and I couldn’t quit thinking about her drawings,” said Weems. “My husband couldn’t quit thinking about her drawings, and if we didn’t do it, someone else would.”

As far as testing the market to see if the shoes would be successful, they threw that idea out the window.

“No, we went backwards,” Weems said. “We didn’t test the market, but we had an unveiling back in January with women connected to the fashion industry.

“I would think we invited about 20 from our local area, and the response was overwhelming. As far as market research, it was small and local; we felt like it was enough to go ahead and take a chance on it.”

To see the full Bend Bulletin article, click here.

Magic Market Week in Vegas

On February 17th (5 AM to be precise) Joanne, Haleigh and Rebecca (that’s me) embarked on most every woman’s dream – attending the largest fashion convention in the world – better known as Magic Market Week in Las Vegas.

In a nutshell, for more than a decade, Magic Market Week has brought fashion designers and boutique retailers from around the world together. It now fills 5 Vegas convention halls and is the premiere event that shapes fashion for the upcoming year.

Wow!!!  Right??? For the record…Joanne has attended this event practically since its inception; Haleigh has been in the world of fashion practically since her conception; and I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the last 12 years, wearing mostly sweatpants and messy ponytails. Thank God for my Desperado ‘work life’ intervention!

Fueled by PowerBars, instant coffee and Emergen-C, we hit the strip running. Our mission was to visit all our major designers and to scour the endless rows of 10×12 booths. We were in search of those up-and-coming fashion designers to add to our Desperado spring, summer, fall & winter collections.

I can assure you, it’s going to be a great year at Desperado Boutique! The trends are awesome and fit really well with our broadening clothing lines. There will be lots of beautiful embroidery, soft knits, and great denim with less emphasis on bling and more on fit in really cool colors. Dresses will flatter every figure. There will be jackets in spectacular faux leather and fur.
Desperado will also be debuting a much larger footwear department with the addition of great new lines including OG by Old Gringo and Steve Madden’s new Freebird collection. My wish list is long!

Rebecca, Joanne & Haleigh with Old Gringo Rep. Michael Hawkins

The Magic Market Week days were also long. Joanne’s bracelet that monitors everything from her heart rate to sleeping patterns clocked us at walking 9 miles of convention floor in a single day. All of us were in cowboy boots! Mine, brand new and while that wasn’t my smartest packing item, it is a testament to Old Gringo- I survived. Besides we all looked good.

I could likely go on forever with tales from Vegas, but you know the saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.  So I’ll leave you with a few final thoughts:

Biggest Tip: Every garment needs to be touched to know quality. And we know Joanne knows quality.

Joann at Ariat Booth, quality control is important

Biggest Triumph: Booking Johnny Was as a Trunk Show for our 18th Anniversary Celebration this fall.

Biggest Smile: Watching 4 of the original Commodores do ‘synchronize dance’ the opening night of convention. Shhhhh…Haleigh had to Google them (she’s from the younger set). Joanne and I knew all their songs (what does that tell you?).

Biggest Disappointment: Underwear models really do have perfect bodies – it’s not airbrushing after all.

Biggest Scam: the Oxygen Bar – breathing 20 minutes of blueberry smelling “pure oxygen” doesn’t really perk you up!

Biggest Scam #2: United Airlines offering a $7 voucher after telling you your flight won’t be leaving San Francisco for another 8 hours. $7 buys nothing in an airport!

Biggest Realization: I am grateful for all the Joannes and Haleighs of this world. It’s their relentless pursuit of beautiful and high quality fashion that gives us all the opportunity to feel good about the way we look.

Biggest Accomplishment: That for one week, I too could be a part of bringing to Desperado some of the best fashion the world has to offer.

~Rebecca Meade

Traditional Western

Western Style is defined as a social category of men’s and women’s clothing and lifestyle. Western fashion style is unique to the clothes worn in the 19th-century American West.

It ranges from accurate historical reproductions of pioneer, mountain man, cowboy and vaquero clothing to the stylized garments popularized by singing icons such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

Western wear can be very informal, with a t-shirt and blue jeans forming a basic ensemble, or it may consist of tailored formal garments with western accents. At minimum, western wear generally incorporates a cowboy hat, a leather belt, and cowboy boots.

Western style has evolved through the years, and although primarily sticking to traditional looks, it can also be sassy, a bit flirty or more casual wear. Dresses, overstated jewelry and designer jeans have become more the norm. Most of us here at Desperado have added our own personal flare to the Western look, but in all honesty, you can’t go wrong with denim, leather and lace!

If you love the Western look, or think you want to add some flare to your wardrobe, Desperado is the place for you. Shop online, or come on in next time you’re in Bend at The Old Mill District.