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ROOTS AND BOOTS ERIN WASSON DESIGNS A NEW LIFE G rowing up in Dallas, Erin Wasson spent every January at the cutting-horse events at the Fort Worth Stockyards. She was captivated by the "dance between the horse and rider" — and it's where she pulled on her favorite pair of cowboy boots. "Boots give you a feeling of empowerment, and a lot of pizzazz and sass," she says. Wasson's second collection with Lucchese bootmaker consists of two boots and a loafer, crafted from exotic leathers and named after close girlfriends. Wasson has recently moved home to Dallas from New York, where she walked the runways for Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi, and appeared in the pages of Marie Claire UK, Elle Italia, and international editions of Vogue. Now that she's home, she's re- energized by the spirit of Dallas. The legacy of Lucchese. It's always an extraordinary thing to have a heritage brand in America. I love that an immigrant from Italy started Lucchese. I love that it's made by familial hands, with people working in the El Paso factories who have been there for 30 years. When you're dealing with craftsmanship at this level, you're dealing with permanence. We see how trends move so quickly — we covet things and then we abandon them. When you're a lover of cowboy boots, they're forever. How the collection with Lucchese came about. It happened really beautifully, organically — a friend of mine is friends with a girl at Lucchese. They'd never gone into the fashion realm to navigate a slightly different demographic. In addition to designing, I get to be that conduit, an ambassador. It's my dream job. About the boots. I wanted to feminize the first collection, and I didn't want to go too Western in any of my designs. A lot of girls who didn't grow up wearing cowboy boots ask me, "How do I wear them? With a dress? Or is that too Little House on the Prairie?" I wear the loafers to death. When you're wearing a pant, the loafer gives you the exact same look as a boot. The cocoa-brown and cobalt-blue color ways go back to a road trip I took in New Mexico. The comforts of home. I n O c t o b e r, m y h u s b a n d [restaurateur B a r t h e l e m y Tassy] and I packed up our car and dogs and drove to Texas. I had this innate urge to come h o m e . Here I BY LINDEN WILSON JOBE. PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HARRINGTON. THE MODEL TURNED DESIGNER ON HER NEW COLLECTION WITH STORIED TEXAS BOOTMAKER LUCCHESE, COMING HOME, AND LIVING LIKE ELOISE. Erin Wasson Gillian boot $1,995, at Lucchese stores 44

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