vaquero spirit: a/w 2014 men’s accessories

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Almost by magic, each season disparate designers from around the world are drawn to a common cultural influence. In recent years this has included at times Moroccan,  African, and Indian. For Fall 2014, it appears this inspiration will be coming from closer to home. Several designers featured (to varying degrees) looks inspired by Vaquero fashion in their Spring 2014 collections. The Vaquero are Mexican cattle herders that came to prominence in California in the 17th and 18th century. Inspired in equal parts by Spanish and native American culture, they are the root for what eventually became the traditional American cowboy. However, even though the fashions worn by Vaquero were rugged and functional much like their cowboy decedents, they also featured bright colors and lavish embellishments.

This trend works particularly well for accessories as it can appear costumey in too large a dosage. The variety of elements that make up this trend can be manipulated to function across a wide range of items and appeal to a variety of customers. On the simpler end of the spectrum are aged thick leather accessories such as bags and belts. Expect mixes of light and dark brown vegetable dyes, as well as leather tassels, long straps, and tooling. Hardware will be in aged silver and brass. Bright embroidery and embellishments will appear on languid jewelry and draped scarves. Neckerchiefs and bandanas offer a more masculine touch and are already a must have accessory for Fall (this trend item is being included in nearly every men’s Spring runway show, regardless of the individual aesthetic of the brand). A handful of designers went full force with this inspiration, and even included sombreros in their collections. Though this is not an item that would appeal to the a meaningful amount of customers, sombrero details (such as tooling and embroidery) will be worked into more wearable hat designs, and sombrero novelty prints will be used on fabric accessories.

Though the Vaquero trend is still percolating, given its sudden emergence in Spring 2014, it is expected to explode for Fall. The details lend themselves to a layered style for Autumn and will allow for greater sales. It is also expected that many of these accessories will have gender neutral appeal, and will be purchased by female customers who are shopping with male partners or friends.

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