Direct from Mountain Khakis Press Release:
Mountain Khakis announces strapped belts designed exclusively for MK
(Jackson Hole, WY – August 13, 2009) Mountain Khakis®, a premier outdoor-lifestyle apparel brand “Built for the Mountain Life”, proudly announces its exclusive glass-buckle belt design by Jackson Hole, WY-based Strapped Belts®.
Chances are, John Frechette had no idea that his Amherst College dual degree of Art History & Economics would land him in Jackson Hole, WY making hand-thrown glass belt buckles. An outcome even further from expectation for his Varsity Hockey ‘meat-head’ & Varsity Golf teammates. But his real-life juxtaposition of ‘tough guy makes beautiful art’ is perfectly played out in John’s one-of-a-kind, hand-hewn glass belt buckles – perfectly durable for tough guys and gals who appreciate unique, authentic design. Just like Mountain Khakis® fans…
When Frechette and MK Global Brand Manager, Noah Robertson were talking one night over dinner about John’s success in his wearable art venture, the light bulb went off for Robertson, “It seemed like an obvious opportunity to integrate our MK mountain logo into one of John’s glass belt buckles. We’re proud of our Jackson roots and like to support local programs and artisans as much as possible. John’s belts are unique, durable, and have a ‘metro-western’ fusion look that reflects the work-and-play nature of Jackson Hole. And the timing was perfect for our upcoming Fall 09 Accessory Program launch.”
It takes John 3 days to create a Strapped Belts® buckle… 3 days and countless cuts to his hands, that is. A process not for the weak at heart, each buckle is fired in a kiln at 1500 degrees, then cooled, cleaned, polished and epoxied into place. But before the heat, each unique design is intricately cut out of fine glass using a diamond-coated blade or ring saw and John’s freehand prowess – thus, the cuts.
For this relatively young company looking to expand beyond its retail presence, Mountain Khakis® represents one of John’s first wholesale accounts – the first of many. “After selling well beyond my expectations at art shows and a successful year selling via the website [www.strappedbelts.com] and my retail studio in Jackson, I’m excited to grow my wholesale distribution” said Frechette. “The New York International Gift Show is my next step. They got me right into the show (and off the wait-list) once they saw my belts.”
MK Glass-Buckle Belt
Guys & gals, you may be thinking that you’re too rough to wear something called a ‘glass-buckle belt’, but even if you’re the bull-in-a-china-shop type, these artisan belts are durable enough for you. A metro-western fusion style, John Frechette of our own Jackson Hole, WY handcrafts each and every buckle, and custom-designed our own MK mountain version. The colored glass is cut, layered into design, then kiln-fired for up to 12 hours at 1500 degrees. That’s hot enough to melt your toenails. 4 color options. Brown leather belt included. Whip it good.
SIZES: S(32), M(34), M/L(36), L(38), XL(40)
COLORS: Light Blue/Yellow, Dark Blue/Green, Orange/Brown, Green/Clear Green
MSRP: $62 (includes belt)
About Strapped Belts® & John Frechette
Each Strapped Belts® buckle is handmade using raw fusion glass. The process begins by cutting designs with a diamond-tipped cutter. The glass is then layered to create each individual design. The raw glass is then kiln-fired for up to 12 hours at 1500 degrees. John Frechette launched Strapped Belts® in 2008 as a result of life’s twists and turns. After his employer went bankrupt, he was “strapped”. Strapped for cash and strapped for a job. His double major of Art History & Economics came in handy as Strapped Belts® came to fruition. Originally from Boston, Frechette attended Taft School in Connecticut then Amherst College in Massachusetts. His career path started on Wall Street and landed him in Jackson, WY.
Find Strapped Belts® & John Frechette on: www.strappedbelts.com
Strapped Belts Facebook www.facebook.com
John Frechette – Art Facebook www.facebook.com
John Frechette – Art www.johnfrechette-art.com
Christian Burch www.christianburch.com
About Mountain Khakis
Design. Quality. Consistency. Authenticity. What started as a casual conversation at the Shady Lady Saloon in Jackson Hole, WY has become the Outdoor Industry’s top-performing ‘bottoms’ brand. Established in 2003 and based in Jackson Hole, Mountain Khakis quickly became a staple in the wardrobe of everyone from ranch hands to golf pros, those who travel by jet, as well as those who travel by thumb. The Mountain Khakis brand story continues to resonate as it connects to the enthusiast who believes that freedom and rugged adventure is a way of life.