I think we show our roots in our boots.
As a rock and roll kid, I’ve always wanted a pair of really killer biker boots. I knew that I’d know them when I saw them: rough, tumble, covered in some kind of metal. Something like these boots from Ash Footwear (a favorite of mine,) which I bought a few years ago.
I knew they’d work within the duality of my wardrobe, kind of like my two favorite styles of music: metal and country. I also thought that my beloved uncle would love them. He’s one of my heroes. Jay was the first one in our family to take off across the country. As soon as I was old enough, I quickly followed suit.
My uncle, Jay, was one of my greatest role models growing up. He’s my mom’s little brother, and since he’s only five years older than me, we sort of grew up more like brother and sister than uncle and niece. It’s weird to have to explain that your uncle is, well, essentially your age, so we just stopped. He’s my Big Bro, basically, and he’s a total metalhead. He’ll kill me for this, but this is a photo of Jay in his metal prime, his beloved guitar strapped across his chest.
Growing up and even today, the two of us are still a hybrid of country and metal attitude and dress. We grew up in West Virginia, so there is always a part of both of us that is a little softer, a little more laid back. For every leather item I own, there’s something cotton-y and soft that pairs along with it. I’m sure Jay would probably say the same.
The two of us took off for the two largest cities we could find (I’m in New York, Jay’s in Los Angeles,) and we’ve long since left the mountains of our home state behind. But our roots run deep, and it shows in what we say and how we move through the world.
As tough as these respective cities have left us, there’s still a part of us that embraces our country roots. For every highway and concrete edifice we encounter, there’s still a segment of our souls that remembers riding bikes on a dirt road or climbing a hill to go swimming in a creek.
As I strut these city streets garbed in the armor of my hard rocking heroes, there will always be something on me that feels softer, less protected. For even as I stomp my urban path in metal boots, I will always be a little country at heart.
What I’m wearing: Ash Footwear Trash boots (no longer available, but the Titan is pretty much the same thing)/Rag & Bone JEAN The Classic V Tee/Levi’s cutoffs/RACHEL Rachel Roy NK Evileye Disc Pendant/Vintage hat and cardigan sweater.
Photos of me: giafrese