Bohemi Blog

The History of the Bolo tie

The History of the Bolo tie
|by Heather Ng

As a jewelry company in the Rocky Mountains it's no surprise that we are lovers of the Bolo tie, other than the cowboy hat there is no other accessory that signifies the American West quite like the Bolo tie. It has come in and out of fashion over the last 60 years, with it's heyday in the 1970's & 80's, but like all things awesome, it's here to stay. There is some debate on who, when and where the very first bolo tie was created. What we do know is that the bolo tie is essentially an evolution of the scarf slide, which was a prominent accessory during the Victorian era in the 1800's & 1900's.

If you follow the patents, Victor Cedarstaff of Arizona, a cowboy from the late 1940's was the first to proclaim he invented the bolo tie (he patented his slide in 1954), which he says he got the idea of the Boleadora (Uruguayan/Argentinian for lariat) from his hat band falling off his hat while riding his horse and slinging it around his neck. Regardless of who invented it, it is the Native Americans of the Southwest that took the bolo slide to the next level by creating the slides out of silver, adding stones and inlay and intricate designs.

The bolo tie gained popularity when it was used in a number of Western movies and television shows in the 50's and 60's, as such Western fashion attire also became popular. In 1971 Arizona Governor Jack Williams signed legislation making the Bolo tie the official neckwear of Arizona.

The 1980's saw the height of the bolo tie, with actors such as Robin Williams & Bruce Springsteen sporting the look. 

These days you'll find Johnny Depp, Bruno Mars, and many other celebrities wearing a modern, sleek suit with a statement bolo tie. 

Out here in the Southwest, the bolo tie has become a staple for grooms on their wedding day. Why should the bride get all the fun? We love making bolos for weddings! Hopefully, you'll wear the bolo tie on many other occasions where you need a little bling. Go visit our bolo bar and create your own, or shop our ready made bolos if you just can't make any more decisions. We make all our bolos out of solid sterling silver or karat gold and semi-precious and precious stones. All bolos are hand-fabricated in our studio in the Rocky Mountains.