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The Birthing of California Cowgirl

Posted on 15 February 2011


This was my "Aha moment" or at least the trigger that sparked my "Aha Moment"


I was doing research for my spring 2011 collection and kept getting excited about all of the Old School surfer trends I was seeing:

  • Vintage surf photos of epic tube rides,

  • Hip California beach culture,

  • Gnarly longboards and irresistible retro graphics with juicy fonts.

I was getting "stoked" and starting to "trip" when I realized I was calling everyone around the office "Dude".  There was definitely something there, but how was I to take beach culture and make it Double D Ranch?™

. That was when I found the image of "Surfing Cowboys" - an actual shop in Venice Beach that touts being the "purveyors of beach culture and the California Lifestyle". There in the photo was my color palette, there was the lifestyle, and above all - there was the glue.   All I needed to do was tweak and twist it into Double D Ranch™ and before I knew it, our "California Cowgirls" Spring 2011 Collection was born.


Phase TWO: My trend research kept turning up denim.  Faded denim.  Torn denim. Patched denim.  Flare legged denim.  "Do it yourself mending" denim.  All the denim I grew up with so it was really easy for me to reach back into my high-school closet and pull some great inspiration with a definite 70's vibe as a starting point. . Phase THREE: I always create characters when I design a collection - kind of like writing a book.  I ask myself,
Who is this person? What does she wear? Where does she live? How does she play? and what kind of dog does she have?
And then I story board it out in pictures.


. Here is my California Cowgirl. This is where she hangs with her German Shepard in tow. This is her heart. These are her boots. This is where she lives.


Now I personally invite you to follow along with me over the next few weeks as I share fun stories, memories and fashion as Double D Ranch'sâ„¢ California Cowgirl rips into Spring.

Can you dig it?


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  • shmuela padnos: May 16, 2016

    cowabonga, sounds good. i used to surf until i got tossed in prico almost didn’t make it back to shore. crawled to the shore once i got to land. i was a big billabong fan of long shorts with open toe heals or cowgirl boots. north shore of hawaii or tahiti my 2 fav spots. while studying in jerusalem israel i took a day trip to tel aviv and surfed with israel paskowitz. 12 kids in family one girl the father was a doctor surfer they all surfed growing up. interesting combo surfing cowgirls.

  • Helen McCarty: May 16, 2016

    OH, Yes, and the most important thing…..I have a German shepherd….Surfin Sadie…..whoohoo

  • Helen McCarty: May 16, 2016

    OMG , Nancy, are you sure you are not related to me? Madras shirts, now living in Jersey, Two brothers born in Hawaii…love Hawaiian shirts, Cazimera (sp) Brothers singing duo from Hawaii, fantastic !!!!!!!!

    Now as Far as California Cowgirl, YES, Can’t wait to see more….I am a native Californian, Love the Beach, Love the Western (Sistas of the Canyon blog) style from my Mom, have the boots , now all I need is where she lives…..Love Everything DD gals…..
    Yes, I can dig it…..
    Thanks for having the Valentine contest, so much fun and they were a riot….

  • Sami Kuhn: May 16, 2016

    Dude! I love it! Can’t wait for more.

  • Nancy Hajeski: May 16, 2016

    Hey, remember “bleeding” madras shirts and shorts? Every time you washed them, they turned a different shade of blue/brown until they faded into perfection. Even tho I now live in the Catskills, I am an old-time Jersey shore girl (without the Snooki hair!) and I love the whole surfer look, esp. Hawaiian shirts with pukka and shark-tooth chokers. Gidget rules!

  • Linda: May 16, 2016

    Love your surf/cowgirl concept. How about bringing us some stamped-leather flip-flops? I’m sure I’ve seen some in Mexican marketplaces. I bet there are some shoemakers in Leon, Mexico, the leather capital of Mexico, who could make you a batch.

  • Robin: May 16, 2016

    LOVE hearing about hip California vintage beach meets western cowgirl, being a native California beach gal now living in Jackson, WY!!! I’m stoked and can relate big time! Yea! Can’t wait to see and hear more!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Shmuela – you never cease to amaze me… hanging ten in Tel Aviv! Go Girl!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Yeah Helen! We love you!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Thanks Sami, I was worried we would loose some customers because we went “beach lifestyle” but so far the reaction has been positive.

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Nancy, I don’t know about “bleeding” madras – gotta go Google that one! Oh and pukka chokers – the best!

  • cowgirl bling: May 16, 2016

    Over the years cowgirl fashion has evolved and changed as fads come and go. Here to stay however is every woman’s desire to portray an image of who she is by what she wears. Popular choices for modern cowgirl clothing is funky unique clothing with a rock star flair. Turquoise cowgirl jewelry has been a staple in the women’s wardrobe of cowgirl accessories and will continue to be for years to come.

  • Nancy Lyon-Gray: May 16, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your process. I love this. I have a couple new spring pieces and I feel so “surfy.”

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Linda -great idea – hmmm?!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Yeah! Check back regularly here on the blog – we have some fun stuff coming up.

  • Lavinia: May 16, 2016

    Your posting is abuelstoly on the point!

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