Portraits United in Style and Culture
TRUE WEST X TRUE CRAFT
Grit. Determination. Passion. Style. The American cowboy culture of bull riders, trail riders, ranchers and horseman reflects the spirit, durability and craft of our fall collection. Shot in the wide-open spaces of the western landscape by legendary photographer Cliff Watts, we recognize the life’s work of these 2nd and 3rd generation cowboys and the legacies they’re each creating.
Meet Marcus Semien
Entrepreneur, Black Cowboy and Horse Lover
How would you describe your life’s work?
Sharing the culture of trail riding, horse breeding, zydeco music, and creole food.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I’m working towards creating a legacy of excellence through Semien Stables. Semien Stables is comprised of family and long-time friends that participate in trail rides, zydeco, horse breeding and who serve as mentors in the community. We pride ourselves on a clean, uniform look that’s always classy: shirts and jeans starched, buckle on and boots shined.
What makes something a classic?
Something that cannot be put into a box. It’s appreciated by men and women of all races and age groups. A classic is clean and never goes out of style.
How did you first start working with horses?
Horses have been in our family for generations. Just as people have a dog or cat, our family members have always had a barn with several horses. I grew up visiting my grandparents and learned to ride and care for horses with my father, grandfather and uncles. There’s nothing that fills my soul more than sitting at the barn with them after a good ride. I love horses so much that I worked at a veterinary hospital in high school and then I majored in animal science in college with plans to become a veterinarian. Once I found out that I would have to work with all types of animals—not just horses—that career wasn’t as interesting to me anymore. I love trail riding because it’s a time for people with a common interest to come together and appreciate one another. Through the years as we grow in our respective careers it’s always good to break away and get back to our roots.
What are you most passionate about?
With respect to horses and trail riding, I’m most passionate about not losing the old school feel of the trail ride inside a community. The old school community is one that all people, young and old can come out and enjoy one another with no judgment or violence. As the times change, I see that we move further and further away from the family feel of the culture, but I’m most passionate about ensuring that the trail rides that I organize take us back to where it started out.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Outside of my three children, I’m most proud of the official formation of Semien Stables. I was able to take something that was already there and brand it. In doing so, it’s allowed the family members of Semien Stables to be selected for a reality television show, spotlighted in several magazines, painted on murals and—most importantly—viewed as leaders and mentors. Upstanding, caring, well put-together cowboys.
How would you describe your personal style?
SMy personal style is metro cowboy. When it’s time to show up in a board room, I can wear a tailored suit and hard-bottom shoes, but in my everyday life, I’m classy in blue jeans and well-shined boots. Currently my most-loved possession is my Harley Davidson. But I am also working on renovating a 1970 Chevelle.
What is your favorite horse’s name or the one you’ll never forget?
My favorite horse at the moment is Boss. Semian Stables is known for our big, beautiful horses. Most of them are palominos. Boss is just that, the boss. My most memorable horse was named Cayenne. That was the absolute most beautiful horse I’ve ever seen. I was able to show Cayenne at several horse shows and walked away with winning ribbons. I’ll never forget the call that I got from the horse trainer telling me that something was wrong with Cayenne. I cried like I lost a family member.