DOUBLE D RANCH
The DNA of Double D Ranch has produced a winning western fashion formula for twenty-five years, and counting…
Double D Ranch (formerly Double D Ranchwear) is a family owned business headquartered in Yoakum, deep in the heart of Texas, which has been designing haute, high-end Western wear for women for 25 years. Double D makes embellished tops, novelty tees, flirty skirts, dreamy dresses, exquisite accessories and flattering pants, leggings and jeans. The fashion house also designs a popular boot line with just the right amount of attitude, which is manufactured by Lane Boots.
But Double D is primarily known for its beautiful studded and embroidered jackets made out of luxurious leather and sumptuous suede. The jackets are entirely handmade, one at a time–from sorting the skins to marking and cutting the patterns, individually sewing the garments and finally hand-setting each bead and stud. It is this high level craftsmanship and meticulous detail work that have become staples at Double D Ranch, making each piece a collector item.
“Our statement pieces are very defining and they make women feel good,” explains Audrey Franz, one of the sisters who founded the company. “It takes a special person to wear Double D–you have to be a little daring and confident. We find that women get a lot of attention when they sport Double D.”
It only makes sense that jackets are the signature item at Double D Ranch. After all, it was a serape coat that sparked the idea for the company a quarter-century ago. Back in 1989, the McMullen family was on a ski vacation in New Mexico when oldest sister Cheryl got altitude sickness. While picking up medication to treat the condition, Cheryl caught a glimpse of a man in a turquoise blanket duster. She was so captivated by the coat that she tracked down a local artisan who made the jackets out of Native American blankets and purchased one.
At the time, Cheryl ran an interior design business at which her younger sister Audrey worked. Shortly after the family ski trip, the sisters went to Dallas Market Center, a wholesale merchandise mart, and Cheryl wore her new serape blanket coat. “We literally had to leave it at coat check because so many people were stopping and asking her about the coat,” remembers Audrey. “It was crazy!”
When the sisters returned home they shared the story with their parents. Their father, Doug, an entrepreneur himself, saw an opportunity and encouraged his daughters to make and sell the coats. Thus, Double D Ranch, which stands for Doug and Daughters, was born.
“We started out just wanting to make some more money to go skiing again next year, so it wasn’t meant to be a business; it just kind of happened,” remembers Cheryl. Audrey adds, “We really saw our coats as not a big deal – just something to take with you when you go skiing!”
But it grew into much more than that, and became a true family-owned and-operated business. Cheryl McMullen does all of the design and inspiration. Audrey is in charge of overseeing the company’s sales and production. Another sister, Hedy Carter, handles samples and factories, while Margie McMullen, their mom, manages the financial aspects of the company. Doug was also involved before he passed away about five years ago. “We all know what our strengths and weaknesses are,” says Audrey of the family dynamics that define Double D. “We’ve learned to use those to the advantage of the company.”
The inspiration for the designs at Double D Ranch stems from the family’s deep Western roots and ranching lifestyle, which dates back to the early 1800s in Texas. “That can be very Americana, it can also have that boho vibe, Spanish influence, or kind of southern rock feel to it,” describes Cheryl, who adds that Saltillo serapes, trade blankets and Navajo rugs are also an important part of the company’s “DNA.” “They are patterns, textures, and fabrications that we continually explore each season and make new.”
Cheryl says Double D Ranch remains fashion-forward by adding their unique flair to what’s trending on the runways in New York and Paris. “We’re able to take those silhouettes, ideas, concepts and color pallets and plug our DNA into that and see what falls out each season. So in that respect, we’ve created a whole new genre,” Cheryl explains.
The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a coffee table book featuring the top 25 Double D Ranch jackets. Additionally, the jackets in the fall collection are named after stores that have been with Double D for 20-plus years. Double D Ranch products can be purchased in boutique stores across the country and on Zappos.com.