Cameron Silver is a fashion icon whose everyday wear is glamour. He is the king when it comes to vintage clothing – from high fashion to high-end western. Cameron has collected clothing for over 20 years and enjoys wearing an “over the top” look. With this collection, he opened a store called Decades in Los Angeles, which quickly became one of the foremost high-end vintage stores in the world. He’s donned Lucchese while traversing the globe and attending fashion shows for the industry’s biggest names, so we asked him all about vintage fashion and his appreciate for western.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
I am from Beverly Hills and would like to say I’m a Beverly Hillbilly. I went to Beverly Hills High School and graduated from the University of California – Los Angeles. I worked as both an actor and singer, and as a fashion entrepreneur over the last 30 years.
How did you get into boots and western fashion?
I had collected vintage Nudie Cohn and Nathan Turk pieces since 1997. These pieces are decorated with colorful patterns and rhinestones. Since I was young, I have always had an affinity for western style. I think it’s quintessentially American and always inspires high fashion too.
I have had cowboy boots since I was a kid, but as an adult, I came to Lucchese because it’s the ultimate cowboy boot. The authenticity of the heritage of the brand is what drew me. Seeking legit western chic as opposed to interpretations of western style, I prefer the authentic version.
Tell us about your store, Decades.
The store was a fortuitous accident. In the mid ’90s, I was working as a singer, and not getting particularly famous or rich. I was touring around the country and began thrifting for men’s clothing and started to find a lot of women’s clothes. I had my epiphany that maybe instead of recycling old songs, I should recycle old clothes. It was fortuitous timing because it was right at the start of the Hollywood renaissance of glamour and red-carpet dressing. I opened the store in 1997 to bring back glamour to Hollywood and inspire the public to get dressed up again. At the same time, it was one of the early proponents of sustainability in fashion.
What is your goal for the store and your customers?
To me, it’s giving someone a visceral experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. It’s the magic of the right piece with the right person because it’s a one on one situation. I don’t have a size run in something – these are preloved collectible pieces. It’s the matchmaking and the memories that are made when you make that match, and the memories that you make when you wear the match out into the world.
What kind of western vintage pieces do you see in Decades?
We’ll get pieces from the great icons like Nudie Cohn, Nathan Turk and Manuel Cuevas. We’ll see really interesting interpretations of western wear such as Tom Ford for Gucci. A lot of high-end designers use western iconography in their fashion.
What do you feel when you put on your Lucchese boots?
Anywhere I go, I travel with Lucchese boots and a Stetson cowboy hat because I think they are high fashion. There’s nothing that provides more instant authentic coolness than by wearing a pair of boots and a cowboy hat.
The minute I put on a pair of Lucchese boots, I feel confident. They’re also so comfortable; I can just walk miles in them.
The intrinsic historic value and legacy of Lucchese is so attractive. It’s the penultimate in western wear. Everybody has a little cowboy in them. A pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some boots is just so cool.