“The West is not a place. The West is a state of mind.”
– “Papa” Jack A. Weil, 1901-2008
A year before we moved to
At the time, I had never heard of Rockmount, nor did I know how many celebrities wear it. But when we drove up to
I knew I liked the guy when I flipped through his book at the Rockmount headquarters in Denver’s historic LODO (lower downtown) district – where gold was first discovered, industrial warehouses later sprung up, and more recently, trendy stores, clubs and restaurants have proliferated – and landed on a page where he was bashing Sam Walton, Wal-Mart's founder. “Sam Walton was nothing but a hillbilly."
Weil’s disdain may in part be personal – they were acquainted – but also professional. Rockmount refuses to sell to chains or discounters like Wal-Mart, and in fact, Weil felt those very outlets were responsible for ending clothing manufacturing in
Rockmount’s finely tailored shirts, skirts, ties, scarves and more are still made mostly in the
A trailblazer as well as a holdout, Rockmount introduced the sawtooth pocket and was the first to add snaps to Western shirts, now a common practice and part of the rockabilly aesthetic. The reasons were quite simple. Buttons come off, cowboys don’t like to sew, and it’s easier to wiggle out of a shirt with snaps if you get caught or snagged out on the range.
And that’s the Western state of mind, folks.