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Nashville may not be a cowboy town, but with its country music roots and smaller-town history, cowboy boots are something many visitors especially associate with the city.
And you see them on tourists, who pick them up in town, as well as on the red carpets. And, of course, the rainbow is the emblem of the LGBTQ community. So, rainbow cowboy boots.
The search for that perfect pair of boots took us FAR from the promise of the ‘Buy One, Get Two Free’ special hawked to tourists from billboards. In fact, it took us all the way to Cody, Wyoming, to master bootmaker Scott Emmerich, and his Falconhead Boots, Belts, & Buckles / Tres Outlaws brand—where a custom pair of handmade boots can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. In fact, the boots on our cover were a custom pair he made for a personal friend: made of vegetable tanned Kangaroo leather, these boots would have a retail value of $8,000.
Emmerich started his career as a bootmaker with a small shop in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1981. “In the beginning,” he told one interviewer, “it was basically just custom handmade boots and matching belts, then came buckles.” As his business grew, he moved to progressively larger stores. “I went from less than 50 handmade pairs of boots … to thousands.”
Over time, his name became synonymous with the best-made, flashy cowboy boot, and he drew the attention of many in the entertainment and music industries. While his boots have graced many Nashville artists, Emmerich maintains a confidentiality code with his customers. And that makes sense as his custom boots are very personally tuned to specific clients.
When Emmerich makes a custom pair of boots, he sends out a bio-foam kit to get impressions of the client’s feet. Then he designs the boots based on the customer’s physiology. The real creativity comes in conveying the personality of the client through a story-boarded creative process. “The design tells the story of each customer in a master designed boot.”
Those wishing to have a custom pair designed would begin the process by contacting him using the information on his site, shopfalconhead.com, beginning the process. Then, after the foam impressions are taken, clients work with Emmerich, giving him details about what they want in a design. Depending on the detail and design, the process can take 4 to 8 weeks at that point. Tooling one of his boots, Emmerich says, “is extensive and time consuming.” And if you visit his website, you’ll see why: the exquisite detail in event the boots he stocks is amazing. The artistry, and the materials, of course, means that custom boots will run somewhere between $2,500 and $25,000 in most cases.
But do check out what he’s stocking on his site, and if you ever find yourself in Cody, Wyoming, you can also visit his store to see them in person.
Can a high-heel shoe for evening wear even be gender-inclusive?
According to Daniela Uribe, of course it can! The Latin-founded, Italian-made, size, and gender-inclusive footwear brand has launched their newest style in a line of shoes that celebrities of all genders flock to.
Previously worn by Mindy Kaling, Mark Byran, and more, the celebrity favorite Be Yourself Pump is now available in an all silver colorway featuring a sleek signature logo heel and chains in both silver and gold.
Daniela Uribe gender-inclusive high heel pumps
The design of the shoe balances a sturdy sculptural look with comfort and elegance.
Uribe has taken the classic pump and given it a luxe twist. She notes, "This pump symbolizes strength. Confidence. Diversity. And most importantly, true, radiant joy. No matter your style, grace, or body. I find delight in who you are and I hope you do too. Step into your self-confidence. Be Yourself."
Daniela Uribe’s designs are becoming known for taking fashion paradigms and reviving them with comfort and elegance in mind. Believing that beauty comes in all shapes and, of course, sizes, the brand offers extended sizing up to size 45.
In this way, and as stated in the company's press release, the brand is "deeply rooted in inclusivity; setting out to create styles that are designed and measured specifically to accommodate every gender's feet."
All products have been equally tested on both male and female feet to deliver the same sleek look, stability, and exceptional comfort. The secret to their comfortably designed footwear is the cushioned insole with added arch support and extra metatarsal padding to provide true, real comfort.
Not only that, the brand gives back to the LGBTQ+ community in a practical way. Daniela Uribe is a proud partner of the Stonewall Community Foundation and for every pair of shoes sold, $5.00 will be donated to Stonewall in order to help make a difference in the issues that matter in LGBTQ lives.
In the South, we are congenial folk, quick to offer a hug, a glass of sweet tea, and an inquiry about one’s mother. Our porches are open to passersby and we are always ready to add another plate to the dinner table.
But now, masks are mandated and social distancing is our new reality. Clearly, the rules of engagement have changed. Are social niceties dead? Is professional attire a thing of the past? Are relationships on hold indefinitely?
John Bridges, author of several popular etiquette books, including, How to be a Gentleman: A Timely Guide to Timeless Manners, says coping with COVID-19 is less about rules and political correctness than behaving civilly, having a bit of common sense, and staying the course.
What should you do when you are wearing a mask in public, but someone else isn’t?
Bridges: I just think you get out of their way. You get away from them. What else can you do? Some people think you should confront them, but why would you do that? That just forces a confrontation. No, you don’t want to do that. Just behave yourself. Behave yourself!
So you shouldn’t call people out who aren’t social distancing or wearing masks?
Bridges: Goodness, no! I mean, you can, but do you want them to punch you out? What’s the point of that? I suppose you could glare at them but confront them? No.
What if I’m invited to go out to dinner, and I just don’t feel comfortable?
Bridges: If you’re invited to something and you don’t feel comfortable going, I think you certainly have the reason or excuse that you are concerned about your health. I was invited to a dinner party a couple of weeks ago by some dear friends, and I had to say, “I love you, but no, I can’t.” And they weren’t insulted.
What are the rules for dating during a pandemic?
Bridges: I think it’s dangerous dating online, looking for somebody. If you are trolling then maybe trolls are what you’ll get. And if you are going to set up a date with them, how much of a date is that going to be? I suppose you can set up a video date, but what’s the point of it? Unless, of course, well, we don’t need to get into what might be going on off-screen!
What are the rules for manners in a Zoom (video conference) meeting?
Bridges: If you don’t know how to say hello to people, if you don’t know how to wait for another person to finish, if you don’t know how to follow an agenda, that’s a traditional problem. That’s a real life problem. True, it is difficult to keep people from talking over each other, but you have to learn to be patient and courteous. Courtesy is all that is.
What about attire for a Zoom meeting? Do I need to dress up?
Bridges: You see a lot of people in T-shirts, people who haven’t had a haircut, men who haven’t shaved, that kind of stuff. There’s no reason you shouldn’t dress up a little bit. At least dress neatly. Maybe cleanup the clutter in the room. It makes you feel better when you dress up a little bit. Today, this seersucker suit I’m wearing, I haven’t had it on in five months. Summer’s passing and I want to wear it. It makes me feel better.
If a friend has a quick wedding at the courthouse or in their backyard and sends out an announcement, do good manners require me to get them an expensive wedding gift?
Bridges: Only a few people can be invited to these things and if you weren’t invited I don’t think you necessarily have to send a gift. But if you want to send a gift, you can spend what you want. There are no real rules about that. I would say find out if they have a wedding registry, and select something from that. If they don’t, then simply call them up and ask what they need, or send over a bottle of wine. I have been reading about some of these small “COVID weddings” and some of them sound like they are really quite nice. A lovely private time with family.
There are so many people out there who deserve our thanks, especially frontline workers. What’s the best way to show appreciation?
Bridges: The best way to show your thanks is on a person-to-person basis. At the grocery store you should say “thank you,” as often as you can, but that’s what you ought to be doing anyhow if you have nice manners. If you want to give money to fundraisers or put signs in your yard, that’s good too, but I think the only way you can guarantee people are going to know you appreciate them is to tell them yourself. Putting things on social media is fine but really it can make you look like you are trying to pat yourself on the back and the frontline worker may never see it. Person to person is best.
Should we be tipping more during the pandemic, like when you get carryout?
Bridges: I probably am tipping pretty heavily these days because I go out one day a week to a restaurant and buy all my entrees for the next week. So I feel like it’s the right thing to tip pretty well on that. I don’t get food delivered, but if you order a pizza or some other meal delivered, I would say add a decent tip when you place the order and be sure to let the delivery person know you’ve done that. But it’s your decision to make.
What’s the best way to stay in touch with loved ones you are unable to visit due to health concerns?
Bridges: I think nothing beats a telephone call. Nothing. It’s important for them to hear your voice. And it’s important for you to use your voice to connect with them. That’s the best way to do it. If you struggle with knowing what to talk about, my suggestion is make a list of things that have happened recently so you have some good talking points. But you don’t have to talk for hours. I find myself cutting off conversations before I think they’ve gone on too long.
What’s the key to getting through these turbulent times?
Bridges: I know people have kids who aren’t in school but I also see kids out in the yard playing and at least that’s something. Even if we are on the precipice of some awful thing, we’ve got to remain in good spirits through this. Find the good. I compare it to the AIDS generation, going through that, it was such a sad thing, such a bad thing, such a deadly thing. Of course you were going to funerals all the time. But you had to keep upbeat through it. You couldn’t just jump off the cliff. I think it’s about realizing we may be at the edge, but don't jump off. Look, it’s going to be better. It just is. We just have to get through it.
How To Be A Gentleman: A Timely Guide to Timeless Manners, and other books by John Bridges, are available online and at Brooks Brothers Stores.
Brooke Burke recently showed off her physique in a set from queer-owned undies and athleisurewear firm TomboyX.
The fitness expert and TV personality styled the Lounge Bralette in Tencel Modal Rainbow Ombre ($24.99, www.tomboyx.com) and 4.5" Trunks LC Tencel Modal Rainbow Ombre ($24.99) on her social media account.
TomboyX is an LGBTQ+ owned and run, size inclusive, gender inclusive and sustainable intimates, swim, activewear and lounge brand.
It comes as the brand also launched its new arrival Matrix-inspired line of goodies. The collection boasts a selection of outfits in an Enter the Matrix Print, inspired by the American film franchise. The first three Matrix films were written and directed by the transgender Wachowski siblings.
Here are some of our favorite items from the new collection:
Dream Muscle Tank
Enter The Matrix Essential Bra
Enter The Matrix Prism Scoop Bralette
About Tomboy X
TomboyX was founded the way many brands are, trying to fill a need that had gone unfilled for far too long. We asked ourselves, “How hard can it be to make good underwear?” And by that we meant underwear that fit regular bodies and fit how we saw ourselves. And underwear that any body could feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fell on the size or gender spectrum.