Fashion is obsessed with the Wild West. Just look at Pharrell’s viral Louis Vuitton runway show at Paris Fashion Week, “Paris, Virginia,” or Private Policy’s show at New York Fashion Week, which had models in farm chic workwear, stomping down a hay-filled runway.
Fashion brands like Miu Miu, Prada and Brioni have looked to the west for their 2024 collections, not to mention Paul Stuart, Celine by Hedi Slimane and Brunello Cucinelli. The #coastalcowgirl trend first went viral on TikTok, fusing together the vibes of Los Angeles and Nashville into outfits that combine chunky belts with ruffled maxi dresses and button-up shirts.
Considering how fashion is looking to the wild west, there’s one type of business that can profit from the fashion scene delving into the world of cowboy boots, denim shirts and old Western flicks. It’s largely an untapped market, as women—and fashion week-related parties—typically flock to rosé and champagne. But some sprits brands are targeting women, and the fashion scene to drink more whiskey and bourbon.
It was just a few seasons ago that Bergdorf Goodman invited fashion designers like Michael Kors to curate a list of custom cocktails to be unveiled at New York Fashion Week. Now, independent spirits brands are weaving their way into the fashion world along with the cowboy hats we’ve seen at New York Fashion Week’s street style.
“We’ve seen a generational shift towards the Wild West in pop culture, from country music’s ever-increasing popularity to films like Killers of the Flower Moon and TV shows like Yellowstone,” said Andy Wahl, the co-founder of Daylight Wine and Spirits, which unveiled their Western-inspired brand Ammunition Whiskey in 2021. “We saw where the industry was headed, and bet that consumers were looking for something different. I’m proud to say that our instinct was right.”
“The embroidered cowboy shirts, jeans, belt buckles, and work boots that went down the Louis Vuitton runway at Paris Fashion Week were inspired by the exact outfits worn by Western icons like the Lone Ranger,” said Wahl, who just celebrated the brand’s 10-year anniversary.
Expect to see Ammunition Whiskey at select, high-end parties during fashion-centric events, as well as culinary festivals and and noteworthy events like the Kentucky Derby upcoming in May, and the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, which kicks off March 6 to 10.
As fashion’s obsession with the West continues, expect to see more spirits brands tap into the cowboy craze. “American whiskeys can reach new audiences,” said Wahl. “The Wild West and Western aesthetic have had significant staying power, and that is exactly how we want consumers to feel when they’re opening a bottle of wine and whiskey.”
Whiskey has predominantly been a more masculine drink, but the Wild West craze has the tables turning. “We’ve seen women make up over 30 percent of all bourbon and whiskey drinkers in the market and that’s only going to grow,” said Wahl. “More and more, women are using whiskey and bourbon in cocktails, and we have set up a partnership network so it’s easier to reach women.”
The brand will unveil women brand ambassadors later this year and continue to target women through the fashion world. “The new American West has never gone out of style, at least here in Sonoma County,” he said.
“The homegrown values that helped turn this area into a world-renowned farmland are still going strong. We wouldn’t be able to produce our spirits at scale without the support of our teams out in the field each day picking grapes for our wines.”
Ammunition Whiskey has sponsored parties at the Country Music Awards and Bethel Woods, the original site of the Woodstock music festival from 1969 and have collaborated with country stars like Jessie G and Craig Morgan. More to come. “We want to get our name into pop culture and become a household name,” he said. “This year, we hope to make it happen.”