Rockmount Ranch Wear has a lengthy history of celebrity drop-ins. Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler is just the latest in a long list of stylish stars to stop by the store. Knopfler played at the 1STBANK Center on October 29 and 30, along with rock legend and former Rockmount visitor Bob Dylan, on a fall tour to promote Dylan's new album, Tempest.
According to third-generation Rockmount owner Steve Weil, "Some of Knopfler's band members wore their shirts at the show." And a couple of them even came to the store twice while they were in Denver.
Rockmount has been a go-to Western-wear store for actors, musicians and even presidents since 1946, Jack Weil -- better known as "Papa Jack" -- founded the company. His snap-button fasteners and sawtooth pockets, which have become staples of Rockmount shirts, were originally designed as an adaptation to obstacles presented by the rural Western lifestyle. But after celebrities like Eric Clapton, Ronald Reagan, Elvis, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney got their hands on the shirts, Papa Jack's signature features turned into more of a fashion statement than a utilitarian clothing design.
"The most memorable ones are the surprises," says Steve Weil, Papa Jack's grandson, of the celebrity sightings. For example, there was the time Papa Jack stumbled on a man gazing in the Rockmount window when the store was closed one weekend; that man turned out to be David Bowie, and Papa Jack invited him inside to purchase some clothing. The next day, Steve Weil remembers, "we got a call from Bowie's secretary and they wanted a repeat order of everything they bought."
In addition to shirts, Papa Jack is also credited with having popularized the first commercially produced bolo ties. Rockmount currently uses over 100 fabrics in the production of its clothing and remains a symbol of how the West was worn around the world.
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