As with most fashion trends, the Cowboy Western aesthetic is nothing new. It's not the first time we've seen it and it won't be the last, however, the trend underwent a resurgence in 2023 and already -- we're starting to see it evolve again.
According to Google Trends data, searches for cowboy boots in 2023 went up by 77%, while cowboy hats and cow prints made multiple appearances, too. Zeitgeisty moments like that Barbie and Ken outfit, Beyonce's "Renaissance" tour and Taylor Swift's "The Eras" definitely had an impact last year, alongside the rising popularity of pieces like Ganni's classic Western boots which prompted releases like the Maison Margiela Tabi Westerns and Crocs Cowboy Boots.
In the last few months, the Western trend has been bubbling back up, spotted at Pharrell's recent Louis Vuitton show amongst subtly weaved into new season campaigns and pre-spring collections. According to viral Instagram account, databutmakeitfashion, the aesthetic is predominantly prevalent within menswear, with the phrase "cowboy style" mentioned in 4% of the top posts analyzed. Similarly, the account surveyed nearly 10,000 people about 2024 trends, with 49% of those surveyed claiming they'd be bringing them into this new year.
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An essence of the resurgence can be attributed to a newfound relationship between animals and fashion, with furry friends making multiple appearances in 2023 campaigns -- alongside brands like Stella McCartney tapping into their equestrian passions during runway shows (to mixed reviews). Similarly, as we witness the evolution of gorpcore and continue our post-pandemic apprecation of the outdoors, it can be said that the Western trend has been revitalized once again through our relationship with the natural world.
While it's yet to hit the fashion mainstream aside from cowboy hats and boots, it's likely that the Western aesthetic is one we'll see continue to crop up at Fashion Week, especially as we move into the womenswear season. Moving away from just accessories, it feels like subtle details will start to make their way into our wardrobes like bolo tie clasps, Western-inspired piping and fringing.
As expected, we began to spot the Western trend make its way into London Fashion Week, appearing at designer Edward Crutchley's FW24 show in more than a few looks. The collection was inspired by historical costumes and iconography, resulting in blanket prints, historical textiles and a fusion of cultures colliding.