Wendy Lane Henry vividly remembers the first pair of cowboy boots she ever bought.
She was a teenager walking through a Neiman Marcus department store in Miami when she spotted a pair of burgundy-colored alligator skin boots.
“They were so different,” said Henry, standing inside her store, Back at the Ranch, in Santa Fe, surrounded by hundreds of handmade cowboy boots she designed.
“My parents didn’t dress me up like a cowgirl,” Henry said. “But I just had to have them.”
Half a century later, cowboy boots have become what Henry is known for. From her cozy adobe shop on Marcy Street, Henry has worked to evolve the classic American footwear, combining traditional Western aesthetics with modern, high-end, fashion-forward sensibilities and designs.
“We are a luxury brand, the Rolls-Royce of cowboy boots,” Henry said. “We’re not ‘yeehaw.’ We brought our cowboy boots into the fashion world.”
Fashion has long been