Dear Mr Scott Emmerich, in Europe American boots are not so popular especially because of the Cultural differences. Although I do not wear very often boots I must say that Falconhead boots attract my eye in a very pleasant way. The way of you manage to combine leathers and colors is astonishing. Why this passion for boots? It is a family tradition?
I have always been enamored with the cowboy boot from my days as a youngster. From my first pair of Frye boots I was hooked. Upon my move to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of stopping by El Paso, TX (the Boot Mecca of the USA) I picked up a few great pairs there. Upon my arrival to LA people we’re making me offers left and right to buy my boots. I sold them, went back to El Paso, picked up more, and thus my business began, slowly, selling boots out of my trunk. Years later I had ideas of combining different designs from different boot makers. When I found out this wasn’t possible. I opened my own boot shop.
What is so particular about the cowboy boots from shoemaking technique point of view?
The art of making cowboy boots is not so different from shoes. Both if made well, are usually entirely made of leather allowing them to mold to your foot. Cowboy boots generally have a higher heel than shoes, and always have a steel shank comfortably seated underneath your arch.
This makes boots very supportive. Cowboy boots can have any toe as ours are hand sanded. A famous boot-maker Lisa Sorrel once said “cowboy boots are the only acceptable way for a man to wear bright colors and heels!”
Where do you find inspiration for the models?
My inspiration comes from everywhere. (We do have literally hundreds of thousands of designs) From my travels both here and abroad, from vintage boots, from things I see everyday. I am constantly designing in my head.
Are the boots influenced by different American cultures – Indian Mexican etc?
Yes, we have done Native American styles, Mexican, German, even Egyptian. We do not limit ourselves to one particular culture.
Over the years we have won many awards from Best Leather Artist-at the Western Design Conference. Numerous awards at bootmaking competitions. Too many to list.
Many celebrities are walking in my boots so it is very hard for me to name just a few. Between my clients I can name Arnold Schwarzenegger, Benecio Del’Toro, Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Springsteen or Joaquin Phoenix. You can find the complete list of my famous clients here.
Currently I am traveling, gathering information and inspiration. Look for a good and evil boot coming, also a lot of custom work for folks, one with a tiki bar theme. Do not want to give too much away, I like to keep my competition on their toes!
So far I guess the Mexican, but I am working on some things that have never been attempted. Boot-making is my passion and I continue to push myself everyday.
I noticed you do some historical inspired model as The Mexican. What other historical models did you over the years and what are their stories?
Recently we did one for The Buffalo Bill Museum, but also the Forty Roses of Guadalupe, a Cleopatra model, The ShapeShifter was a Native American boot, Also did a custom with WWII bomber Planes.
As a boot collector, who has many many boots, Its hard to pick a favorite. As any collector will tell you, Cowboy Boots are a sickness, and you are always coming up with new colors style that you need in your boot arsenal. Currently my favorite is my white monster Python which I’ve all but worn out!