The cannabis leaf motif on shirts made by Denver Western store Rockmount. (Photos provided by Rockmount; Photo illustration by The Cannabist)

Pot-themed Western shirts? Only at Denver icon Rockmount Ranch Wear

Denver’s famous Rockmount Ranch Wear, a third-generation LoDo business known for its stylish Western shirts and pioneering button-snaps, knows what 420-friendly means.

One of the shop’s latest innovations: the Cannabis Cowboy shirt.

“Anybody who’s not dead knows that Colorado’s on the vanguard of this movement, and we at Rockmount like to think that’s what we do in the fashion world. So we developed a design that fits in our long tradition of doing floral embroideries,” Rockmount president Steve Weil told The Cannabist, “except these flowers can be smoked.”

Rockmount debuted the shirts, which come in white and black and are embroidered with four green cannabis leaves on the front and two on the back, in January. The shirts retail at Rockmount for $96.

The shirts surely will bring even more celebrity clients through Rockmount’s doors. Famous clients who return to Rockmount to replenish their wardrobes include Robert Plant, Jack White, Bob Dylan and David Bowie.

When developing new products, the company’s artists hand-draw designs first. Then the embroiderers make a run at the final product.

“In this case, it took two renditions before we got to what we wanted,” Weil said. “And that was due to the fact that the shape of the leaves were different than your usual floral embroidery. We have very highly skilled people who do embroidery, but most flowers are smooth leaves, whereas these are serrated.”

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The store already has sold enough of the shirts to order a second round of production, but Weil is careful to note that the shirts are fashion — not political — statements.

“We are creating a new Western shirt design,” he said, “and it’s not a political statement. … Marijuana is ubiquitous in Colorado, and why can’t we have a little fun in Western shirt design?”

The shop hasn’t received any negative feedback on the shirts, Weil said. Theme shirts, in fact, have long been an integral part of Rockmount’s business.

“We do special theme shirts all the time, including ones for Colorado cider, Great Divide beer, Coors and others — it’s a very long list,” Weil said. “We’ve done beer shirts for 10 different breweries, and right now we’re talking to New Belgium about doing one for them. This wasn’t something that we took lightly.

“And what differentiates Rockmount from other clothing companies: We’re not interested in short term trends. We develop classics that have a long life cycle. And from the initial response, this (Cannabis Cowboy shirt) has potential. Our beer shirt has been in production for many years, so that’s our goal — to create styles that have a long life, not just shirts that come in with the wind and go out with the wind.”

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