Get to know Shane Holman — the brains behind the Western Boot styles you see at Ariat season after season.

Shane Holman has been doing big things behind the scenes at Ariat for over 15 years. An accomplished rider across many disciplines, Holman’s passion for fashion and Western lifestyle has made a huge splash in the Western fashion world. We recently sat down with her to learn a little more about her role at Ariat and how she brings Western trends to life using stunning Western boot designs each season.

What is your official title?

I’m the Senior Director of Western Footwear Trends here at Ariat.

How long have you been at Ariat?

I’ve been here for a little over 16 years. I started two weeks after I graduated from college.

How did you get into Western fashion?

I grew up riding and showing horses and competing at a high level. I actually started with hunter jumpers and that’s where I became familiar with Ariat when I was a kid. Then, I switched into performance horses and won eight national championships. After that, I switched into reigning cow horses, rodeo, and competing barrel racing professionally. Then, I switched into cutting. So, I’ve lived and breathed the lifestyle growing up immersed in all things Western. I’ve also had a strong passion for fashion my whole life. For me, this job is the perfect blend of all of my passions in one.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I love when I actually see people wearing our products. When I see our boots on people’s feet – that’s really gratifying. The second-best part of my job is when I get to travel around looking for trends and then interpret them and make them right for our Western consumer. I also love working with Hollin Norwood, our Senior Director of Design. He’s amazingly talented and responsible for all our Western stitch patterns and Western design. He’s a creative genius.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

There are so many different types of Ariat customers, and we aim to make something for everyone. We want to make sure we have boots that are trend-right but also comfortable and safe. I have to put on my thinking cap and know we need our boots not only for a Western performance customer who is roping and riding or someone who lives on a farm, but also someone wearing them to dinner or a football game.

How do you search for trends?

We scour the world looking for the best trends to bring to our Western consumers. One of my favourite trips ever was when we went to Europe. We travelled to Barcelona, London, Rome, Milan … it was a dream trip. We also travel to rodeos and horse shows to look at what the riders and spectators are wearing. Then, we bring that all back and create a trend report. So then the question becomes: how do we now create a line and influence our designers and developers to make the best products?

One of the best things about Ariat is that it’s all about innovation, it’s all about technology. But then we also want to be at the forefront of fashion and be leading the trends. I take a lot of pride in making sure we are always on-trend and current.

What trends are you seeing?

We’re looking at animal prints being very strong and a key pattern for us. I personally believe that leopard has become a neutral now, but it’s still considered a trend for us. We’re also seeing a lot of Southwestern influence, so that’s where you’ll see some muted Southwestern patterns. We’re really paying tribute to Southwestern heritage.

Do you wear everything you design?

I always have my favourites of the season, but there are too many styles for one person to wear! We have hundreds of new styles each season – there’s truly something for everyone at Ariat.