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How the West Was Worn

An homage to Denver's Rockmount Ranch Wear.

July 2011

Got a thing for that rugged frontier look? Sixty-five years of history and Wild West style ought to do the trick at this month’s Cowboys and Rock Stars exhibit (July 8–September 4) at Golden’s Foothills Art Center, showcasing Denver’s iconic Rockmount Ranch Wear. Three generations of shirts, photographs, and memorabilia embody a brand coveted by ranch hands and celebrities alike. In honor of the Western-wear legacy created by the late Rockmount founder Jack A. Weil (he worked every day until he was 107 years old), we’ve compiled some yeehaw-friendly fashion facts.

  • The plaid Rockmount shirt worn by Heath Ledger’s character, Ennis, in Brokeback Mountain later sold for $101,000 at a charity auction.
  • When guitar god Eric Clapton called for more shirts in a pinch, Rockmount (hand) delivered. Third-generation president Steve Weil flew to London’s Royal Albert Hall on a last-minute trip to personally hand over the Western wear to Clapton.
  • Costume designers for the 1993 Nicolas Cage flick Red Rock West purchased 20 of the same white shirt to ensure Cage’s character was always emanating pristine Rockmount.
  • The signature snap closures, now a style thing, were originally designed to break away if snagged on a saddle or steer horn.
  • Golden boy Robert Redford loves Rockmount style so much that he outfits his entire Sundance Resort staff in custom-made uniform shirts.