The Belt Buckle

The belt buckle, the choicest form of jewelry for cowboys (and also one of the only acceptable ones), has become a fashion statement. The most ostentatious type, the trophy buckle, typically oval or rectangular in shape and elaborately ornamented, came into vogue in the early twenties, shortly after it was introduced as an award for rodeo champs. We’ve picked six Texas designers whose work exemplifies the varied styles of this updated classic.
The Belt Buckle
Photograph by Adam Voorhes

1. This sterling buckle affixed with the Medal of the Immaculate Conception takes Austin brothers Demian and Alex Vazquez fourteen hours to craft. $1,495; dandabrothers.com

2. Each creation by Ingram-based Clint Orms is named for a county in Texas. Kenedy inspired this overlaid and filigreed sterling trophy buckle with a ten-karat rose-gold steer head. $7,150; clintorms.com

3. This Mexican real embedded in sterling silver is part of Jason Christopher Maida’s namesake collection of vintage currency buckles sold at his Houston store. $310; maidasbelts.com

4. Matt Hackett, of Richmond, learned to be a silversmith while doing time in state prison. He’s designed buckles for the Texas Rangers and George W. Bush, and his recent retirement has sparked a frenzy among collectors. $995; shoprewards.com

5. Fredericksburg jewelry maker Jeep Collins, son of celebrated handbag designer Enid Collins, first produced this bronze armadillo in the late seventies. To commemorate forty years in the business, he’s bringing it back. Price upon request; jeepcollins.com 

6. Stephenville’s Nick Cunningham created his first buckle twenty years ago, and the Indian Chief is his 8,321st trophy buckle design. $4,500; jewelrymannick@yahoo.com

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