Western Lifestyle Retailer Spring 2018
The shoot…Vaquero Street Style and a historic California Mission…
For this Spring’s fashion shoot, Kathryn Barkey, Western Lifestyle Retailer’s creative director and stylist, took the magazine to La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California. Founded in 1787, the Spanish Mission was the 11th of the twenty-one Spanish Franciscan Missions built in California, and a perfect backdrop for the fashion feature, “Vaquero Street Style”. Barkey put together a daring mix of hip, modern street-wear and vintage Spanish and vaquero styles, for a fresh Western look you won’t find anywhere else. Bomber jackets met mantilla-like crowns, and sneakers topped off Wrangler jeans and squash blossom turquoise. “In some ways, I was trying to capture how much youth and pop culture changes fashion trends, even in the Western industry,” Barkey says. “We’re still doing the same things we’ve always done in this lifestyle—riding colts, roping and rodeoing, feeding cattle and listening to country music—but now you see people doing that in fringe sneakers, flat-bill caps and bomber jackets along with their cowboy boots and hat.”
The theme of this year’s photo shoot started to come together in March of 2017 when Barkey attended the Dallas Market Center for one of their western apparel shows. “First of all, I was heavily influenced by Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2017 collection – and then I was introduced to Barbosa. They were showing these elaborate crowns and I just fell in love with them.” Barkey confides. “We already had Duek (horse) set to be in the shoot, and Barbosa’s Mexican crafted crowns and Catholic influenced jewelry was a perfect fit,” she continues. “Several years ago, Barbosa Collection was featured in Western Lifestyle Retailer photo shoots, so it was fun to showcase this brand again and their unique jewelry, and concho belts – pieces found no where else in the industry.”
Mixing Spanish influence, with modern western trends proved to be a little challenging for Barkey. “I wasn’t quite sure how to mix old-world California with street wear trends in a way that would make sense.” she says. “I tried to pull something street-style and something a little Spanish into every shot to keep it consistent throughout – whether that was a varsity jacket paired with mantilla-ish crown and layered rosary necklaces; or a traditional Spanish hair-comb with a rose paired with a Kimes Ranch plaid shirt tied around the waist, and a funky CoFi backpack for a 90’s grunge look.” Barkey continues. “At the end of the day, it’s about the product- it’s who we are.”
A lot of old-world Spanish vibe came through the hair and makeup design thanks to Sacramento-based makeup artist, Ernesto Robledo. “I’ve worked with Ernesto before on previous commercial shoots, and we’ve always talked about collaborating on WLR. This year we finally had an opportunity to work with him, and he blew our minds.” Barkey says. “He inspires creativity, and he completely understood the direction of the shoot. In what seemed like 5 minutes, Ernesto put together hair and makeup that I could never dream-up!” she continues. “His talent is limitless, and this shoot wouldn’t have turned out this good if he wasn’t there to put his own touch on every shot. I hope to work with him again.”
To bring the vision of “Vaquero Street Style” to life, Western Lifestyle Retailer went with a trusted photographer: Darrell Dodds. Dodds served as Publisher of the Cowboy Publishing Group for many years (including Western Lifestyle Retailer) and has been influential to the magazine’s success over the years. “Darrell Dodds is one of our aces, and we are so blessed to have him as a friend, and mentor of the magazine.” Barkey comments. “His standards for photo/shot quality, and over-all image of the magazine is set high; which brings shoot and the publication to a whole new level.” Barkey says. “I’m not a photographer, and I knew virtually nothing about the publishing world until I started at the Cowboy Publishing Group. I’ve learned so much from Darrell like angles, posing, lighting – and about what makes a cover photo and what doesn’t…. invaluable tips, and direction. ” she continues. “Working with Darrell on various shoots has definitely boosted my creative confidence. He was one of the first to give me a nod at styling and producing fashion shoots.”
Darrell Dodds is no stranger to the western industry as you may have seen his work for Western Horseman, Horse & Rider, AQHA Journal, Paint Horse Journal, Clint Anderson, Bob Avila, Tony Lama, Noble Outfitters, and countless others in his near 40-year career in western lifestyle publishing and photography. “He’s one of the most renowned photographers in our industry. Specifically, he captures horses like no one else in the business,” Barkey continues. “And when you have that particular horse, with that amazing saddle, and at that location – you can’t go with anyone else besides Darrell.” This issues marks Darrell’s 9th fashion shoot for Western Lifestyle Retailer.
The Horse… A real-life Movie Star…
The black Friesian gelding “Duek” featured was one of the three Friesians performing as “Tornado” in the 1998 blockbuster hit The Mask of Zorro starring Antonio Banderas, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Corky Randall, famous Hollywood horse trainer (who trained the black Arabian stallion in The Black Stallion, and whose father trained Roy Roger’s “Tigger”) trained Duek for two years for The Mask of Zorro. At only 3 years of age, Duek made several appearances throughout the movie. All three horses were trained to rear on command, and Duek still performs the same tricks today as seen in the movie. “Duek is one of kind. It was like he knew when the camera was on, and he knew when he was being photographed – the show was on.” Barkey says. “To see a horse rear on command after a 20-year hiatus is pretty remarkable. We practiced that rearing shot one time, and then just went with it. Darrell captured it perfectly the second time. None of that was digitally altered!
Kristi Ullman purchased Duek from Corky & Joan Randall when he was 6 years old, and competed at the Grand Prix level of Dressage before retiring him – and in Kristi’s words: “Duek has owned me for 19 years!” Now at 25 years old, Duek lives a semi-retired life on a beautiful 200 acre ranch in Santa Ynez, CA performing tricks with Kristi’s granddaughter, making occasional appearances in local parades or modeling in fashion shoots.
“We cannot thank Kristi and Corky Ullman enough for bringing their Movie Star to our shoot and hosting us all week.” continues Barkey. “This photo shoot was one of the best we’ve ever done, and it wouldn’t have been possible without Kristi and Duek!”
The Saddle… A legendary Hollywood saddle-maker, and an old California family…
Duek wore an authentic Edward H. Bohlin parade saddle and bridle courtesy of Sally Marvel Freeman. The saddle is one of the eight original Camarillo saddles made by Bohlin for Adolfo Camarillo and his famous Camarillo White Horses. The antique saddle weighs nearly 200lbs and the entire swell and horn is plated in sterling silver. All pieces are original – including the bridle, bit, reigns, and saddle pad. Sally Freeman is a great-granddaughter of Adolfo and Isabella Camarillo and the saddle was passed down to Sally by her Mother, Rosita Marvel who rode the saddle multiple times through parades such as the Tournament of Roses Parade and Santa Barbara Fiesta with other direct Camarillo relatives. “We are so incredibly grateful to Sally and Quincy Freeman for lending us this priceless family heirloom for the day. That saddle is remarkable. It’s not everyday you get to see something like that – let alone use it for a fashion shoot.”
The saddle hasn’t been used, or even put on a horse since those parade days, so it was fitting the first horse to wear it after nearly 30 years was Duek. “When Duek walked around the historic Mission wearing that saddle for the first time, it was pure magic.” says Barkey. “When a saddle with that kind-of Spanish/California family history come together with a special black horse featured in a movie about the time period, and at a historic California Mission to bring it all together- it was just nostalgic.” Barkey reflects. “It was all truly supposed to come together like it did. It’s a shoot we’ll never forget!”
Western Lifestyle Retailer is the premier trade magazine in the western retail industry and is FREE to any qualifying retailer. “Western Lifestyle Retailer is one of the most anticipated magazines in the western apparel industry – it sets the pace for the rest of the year,” says Barkey. “We have always pushed the boundaries in western fashion, and we pride ourselves on originality. It’s always a challenge to keep pushing, and innovating but I think we put out an exceptional issue this year and we’re excited to for it to hit mailboxes, and trade shows!”