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Throwback Photo Shows James Bartle Was Always a Denim-Obsessed Cowboy

Throwback photos stir up laughs, memories and—for denim heads—a wealth of vintage denim inspiration. This weekly column on Rivet asks individuals in the denim industry to take a look back and reminisce about a denim moment in time captured on film.

This week, Rivet 50 member James Bartle, founding CEO of Outland Denim, reflects on a photo from his cowboy- and denim-obsessed childhood that shows how even at a young age, he cared about animals, the environment, and the interconnection of all things.

What he didn’t know at the time of this photo was that, through a career in denim, he would go on to establish a way to protect vulnerable people from exploitation and help society better itself. Outland Denim has since earned numerous awards and recognition for its ethical practices and initiatives, and recently made headlines by offering consumers the chance to own part of the brand and, with their financial support, help effect social change.

James Bartle, Outland Denim founding CEO

This was me and my horse Reggie during a family photo shoot held on my aunt and uncle’s property when I was about 9 years old.

I always wanted to be a cowboy, so in this image, I was wearing my cowboy clothes and pretending to be Jim Craig from the Australian movie “The Man from Snowy River.” I was very particular about my jeans—they had to be just loose enough—though I’m not sure why the shirt was unbuttoned so far.