Culture // 5 min Read

These Boots

Written by Courtney Hampson

Nov 7, 2019

I’ve stepped into a crisp, bright space where natural light emphasizes the aged brick and exposed beams. Succulents and a Southwestern rug provide a pop of color, but don’t detract from the real stars of the show. I’m greeted with a tequila-based cocktail dubbed “Ranch Water” and introduced to a business with Texas roots that traveled to New York City and found its way back home.

If this is what you’re selling, I am buying.

Miron Crosby founders and sisters Lizzie Mean Duplantis and Sarah Means have created this very experience. Their “pie in the sky idea” that they’d been chewing on for years has become a rich reality. Together, they are paying homage to their childhood and their West Texas upbringing by creating premium-quality western boots with a high-fashion edge. Boots that will endure for generations.

Both Sarah and Lizzie found a passion and appreciation for boots at a young age. Reared as the fi fth generation on their family’s West Texas cattle ranch, the sisters grew up marking important life events with custom cowboy boots, often of their own design. With an eight-year age gap between them, they were often going in different directions, but their boots and their roots kept them together.

After college, both Lizzie and Sarah landed in New York City; Lizzie worked in finance and Sarah in fashion. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl, which means their vast collections of boots went to New York too, and it was only a matter of time before they both started getting comments and compliments. “It was the breadth and width of comments that really resonated with us,” Lizzie said. And, it was over a glass of champagne (where all great ideas are born) that they realized there was a validity to that idea they had been tossing around.

Their commitment to the idea that cowboy boots don’t need to be kitschy and only worn to the rodeo led to the 2017 launch of Miron Crosby. The name itself borrows from the New York and Texas roots the sisters share. Miron is a play on their grandfather’s name, Marion Otis Means, the ultimate gentleman and a cowman’s cowman.

Crosby is both a pasture on their family farm and a SoHo street whose artistic fl air informed the sisters’ aesthetic. Taken together, they signify a focus on reimagining the classic American boot silhouette by elevating it through intricate stitching, detailed appliques, exotic leathers, and personalization—including handwritten messages sewn into the lining to create a one-of-a-kind pair. Playing off their strengths, “which are very different,” Sarah said, they’ve built a small but nimble team and say that while job titles exist, they are a divide and conquer team. Everyone has autonomy and that’s what makes Miron Crosby work.

With feedback from so many different people— in New York City, the home of high fashion, and Marfa, Texas, their hometown—the sisters realized they could change the perception of “cowboy boots.” There was a luxury, contemporary audience looking for this product. So, they focused on the whole silhouette of the boots and what would make them special. Enter their family ties. Each Miron Crosby boot is individually handcrafted in Texas by Rios of Mercedes, a 160-year-old cowboy boot manufacturer owned by the sisters’ cousins.

Rios of Mercedes is one of the few boot companies still hand-lasting their boots. Lasting, a dying art, is the process of pulling the leather over the foot mold—by hand—to ensure a perfectly shaped boot.

It’s been just two years, but Lizzie and Sarah have built a name that is recognized across the country. And yes, they still get excited when they see someone walking by in a pair of Miron Crosby boots. “We call it seeing them in the wild,” Lizzie said. Recently, her husband, Seth, was sitting next to someone on a plane and exclaimed, “That’s me; that’s the Seth Boot.” In fact, when they started the brand, they began naming boots after people they love and admire and have kept the tradition going ever since.

So, what’s next, I must ask. Are boots the gateway to additional products? Do they think about expansion?

“Gosh, yes,” Sarah said through a little laugh. “Two years ago, our goal was to be in Vogue. When that happened, we were like, ‘Okay, now what.’” For now, success means staying in their lane, growing smart, and remaining relevant. “We’ll set new goals every season, every year, but remain committed to a luxury product and stellar customer service,” Sarah said.

So, back to that cool, crisp glass of Ranch Water. When you step into the Miron Crosby design studio in Dallas, Texas, the process is all about getting to know you. Growing up in a family of entertainers, where hospitality was paramount, Sarah and Lizzie wanted the studio to feel the same as their homes. “It is an extension of our upbringing.” You’ll be greeted and offered a Ranch Water or Texas-crafted beer, and then you’ll be blown away by the process. The studio, just 490 square feet, feels like you’re stepping into their living room. You’ll have a seat at the marble table, and the studio manager will bring over a hand-carved walnut box. Inside, you’ll find leather samples, colors, threads, fonts, all the inspiration you’ll need to begin crafting your custom-designed boot.

And then you’ll practice patience. Because even in this time when everything is available at the touch of a button, Miron Crosby boots are not. The process spans the country—volleying back and forth between New York and Texas until your bespoke boot is complete. It will be worth the four-to five-month wait, because when you receive that box and reveal those boots for the first time, you’ll be able to say you are putting on a piece of history, an iconic symbol of Americana that endures, and they were made just for you.

To find or design your own special boots, visit MIRONCROSBY.COM.