It is the question I get asked the most: How did Oughton begin? The answer is: it grew out of a product I had made for myself... a bag version of a tack trunk - using waxed canvas, leather and halter fittings. It is indispensable to me now (fits a saddle, bridle, half chaps etc for a 1 day show or clinic, and all my 'extra stuff' for longer shows). Before I knew it, several people wanted one, and.... a couple years and 2 trips around the globe later, I was at Lake Placid Horse Show selling them. Immediately, the cross-over appeal was apparent and people loved the idea of customizing them with a halter plate... we sold one to a family for a son going off to college, another few to a group of men going on a hunting trip, even one as a 'touring bag'... and Oughton was born.
The aesthetics resonated within the horse world… it is a world steeped in tradition and history. Quality is defined by the craftsmanship, performance, by how well something works and how long it lasts. Heirlooms, meticulously cared for through the generations, are a point of pride. (Check out our LookBook for more about how the materials evolved)
It struck me how different the general consumer world had become, where the idea of provenance had been totally lost… and supplanted by flash and trend, things bought for months rather than years. In retrospect I think this became the opportunity for the company… to offer a different viewpoint, to offer classic, timeless pieces (much in the way the ultimate luxury houses such as Hermes have done for centuries) that will be heirlooms for the next generation…. who will wear the patina of their ancestors travels with pride. I wanted to create a line that was the antithesis of the waste and self-consciousness that had reached epic proportions….
Thus evolved the line and its aesthetic… waxed canvas trimmed in leather and an iconography of halter squares and halter plates. It is inspired by a life lived with horses and the ‘quiet’ classic chic of country life… an aesthetic sense of long-lasting utility and timelessness over trend. Visit our “Behind The Brand” section of our blog, for a behind-the-scenes look at Oughton and its founder, Daphne Markcrow.