Wyoming is called "The Cowboy State," without irony, and with good reason: it's one of the few places left in America where the vanishing profession exists. There, cowboys are not some historical relic or Hollywood cliché, but real flesh-and-blood men who earn their livings through hard work and expert horsemanship. And while visits to Jackson Hole today may include top-notch skiing and world-class restaurants, reminders of the region's older order are not at all hard to come by. Brims are still tipped in greeting at the Stage Coach Bar, spurs still clink across the entrance to the saddle shop, and on the outskirts of town, a thin haze of dust still rises when horses or cattle are rounded up.
While shooting our Winter Collection in Jackson, we were fortunate to spend time with Shane, Corey, and Xan—three real-life cowboys who were kind (and patient) enough to show a few city-slickers the ropes. And while our lasso skills and bronco-busting may leave something to be desired, a far more valuable lesson was definitely learned: that doing what you love, and doing it well, is an honor and a reward unto itself. The cowboy way, indeed.
Photography by William Hereford