Nikki Edmundson found her calling when she destroyed a pair of cowboy boots. At first the vintage eel skin pair rubbed her calves,
so she snipped them in the back—more than she meant to. So she rolled them down like a pair of socks, then festooned them with straps and fabric. “It was pretty tacky,” admits the designer, but when the self-proclaimed city girl wore them into Butte, “It was crazy how many compliments I got.”
Nine years later, Edmundson has refined her process; she folds the tops of used cowboy boots neatly over themselves and wraps a vintage belt across the front; often she even Frankensteins the top of one boot onto the base of another. The result is a modern bootie shape with an old pedigree; most pairs sell for north of $500.
The custom creations have been part of a Western-themed Victoria’s Secret photo shoot and grace boutique shelves in Vegas and Vail, plus shops across Montana and Edmundson’s own storefront in her hometown of Harrison. But her favorite Canty creations are made from grafting together boots a customer has inherited: “I cut off a grandpa’s tops and sew them onto a granddaughter’s bottoms. I’ve had people crying when they see they can wear grandpa’s old boots.”