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Growing up in Montana, Casey Curtis developed a passion for painting, fast horses, and fine fashion. She always had a dream of creating her own Fine Western Collective for the women that fearlessly chase their dreams and want to look good doing it. This passion led her to pursue an Apparel Design degree at Washington State University. During her studies, she further fell in love with the artistry and expression found in runway & couture fashion of New York, Italy, and Paris.
Upon completing her degree, she snagged a design job in the Western industry, but couldn’t stop thinking about her Fine West Collective dream. She took a leap of faith by quitting her job and moving back to her family’s ranch in Montana to learn leatherwork. Why leather? Casey says “Leather is made to last, in a world full of fast fashion. The art, the expression, and exquisite craftsmanship I fell in love with in New York and Milan can be found in leatherwork.” She had a desire to create items that were beautiful, and also stood for something beautiful as well.
Casey defines her collection as “High class fashion infused with the Old West; bold statements for women that march to the beat of their own drum and whose fashion choices answer to no one.” She says she is honored to design for cowgirls: women who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps. Women whose scars make them beautiful because everywhere they are broken, their light shines through.
One of her trademark pieces, faith feathers, was inspired by her mother. She says “My mom, my best friend, and biggest cheerleader helped identify my gifts and encouraged me to chase a career in fashion design when I grew up in a culture where the degree was misunderstood. We made a pact when I was in high school: I was going to be a fashion designer and start my own brand, and she was going to be my assistant.”
Unfortunately, during her freshman year of college, her mother was diagnosed and passed away from AML Leukemia in a matter of two weeks. Casey’s world was shaken, and she says “My faith led me to my healing, understanding, and finding joy again. I challenge myself to design fashion statements that can help you heal from loss, connect with a friend on a deeper level, smile more, have bigger faith, and pay forward light and love!”
She has declared that this year is one of faith over fear, and sees collaboration as the cure for the Covid madness that has threatened many small businesses. Cue her getting to spend her winter in Wickenburg, Arizona, and meeting KL Collmorgen (Revamped Rodeo) and her family, where the idea to create a collaborative photo shoot was born. Of the decision to collaborate, Casey says “We quickly bonded over our love of fast horses, big faith, fringe, feathers, and all the turquoise. I knew our designs would not only look beautiful together, but the shoot would showcase cowgirls all at different walks of life.”
“I love the shoot because it is a beautiful reminder as women that we shine the brightest, and are stronger together. There is enough room for all of us at the table.”
Photographer: Kalee Taylor Photography
Hair and Makeup: Katie Angell
Jackets and shirts: Revamped Rodeo
Leatherwork: Casey Curtis Designs
Models: Sierra Spratt, KL Collmorgen, Casey Curtis