A few months ago a vintage leather jacket came into my possession. It was a boxy men’s bomber with a torn lining and little to no relevant style. Nevertheless, the supple worn leather was too nice to be cast aside and screamed for repurposing. One look at this large amount of tan leather and I knew it was destined to become some kind of western boot. With plans for a ski trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado coming up, I set out to design a chic little bootie to wear on vacation.
I had recently purchased a great sweater coat covered in an all-over horse pattern, which I was already planning on wearing in Colorado. This inspired the equestrian details of the boot design – from the decorative waxed lace over the instep, the pinked edge of the tongue, and the long tassel in the back, which looks like a horse’s tail. The tassels are attached to zippers, which were reused from the jacket pockets, and I added a shearling lining to ensure the booties were ready for winter in Colorado.
One of my favorite places in Beaver Creek is the Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch – a gorgeous grand hotel built in classic National Park-lodge style. The Ritz sits right in prime ski-in-ski-out position, creating a postcard-perfect panorama against the glorious backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. On a day off from the slopes, I spent an afternoon there at the outdoor fire pit, listening to some great live music by acoustic guitarist Robert Ingman. For more photos of the Ritz and the custom shoes made for this special day, check out the Leather Horse Tail Booties in the Gallery section.