We asked our recently retired Lucchese Account Executive, Rae Moore, to describe his 46-year journey in the boot business. For decades, Rae has been one of the western industry’s most respected boot salesmen. Rae has represented Lucchese since 1993. He is filled to the brim with class, dignity, and character.
Growing up, Rae was a welder by trade and rodeo cowboy riding bareback horses. Until one day, he broke his back and was no longer able to do either of the things he enjoyed. Rae said, “I had no idea what I wanted to do after this injury. I had no resume. I had nothing to impress.” Fortunately, one of Rae’s friends who worked at a western store offered him a job where he worked for several years. Then came along a new job as a salesman and a boot designer in El Paso, Texas, for yet another boot company. He worked there for seven years and had great success.
Rae had a very strong relationship with James Cavender, the founder and CEO of Cavender’s, a major Texas based western wear retail chain. In 1975, Mr. Cavender opened a western wear store with several styles of boots, including pairs by the bootmaker Rae worked for at the time. Rae said, “Back in the ‘70s, Lucchese boots were about $250-$500,” so he chose to wear $70 boots from the brand he worked with. “However, James was always pushing me to work for another boot company. That company was Lucchese. If it wasn’t for James, I wouldn’t have gotten the job with Lucchese.”
Describe how Cavender’s was when you started and how it was when you left.
Cavender’s only had four stores when I began working there. Cavender’s has 82 stores now, soon to be 83 in 11 states. It has grown unbelievably.
How did you get into boots? Specifically, Lucchese boots.
When I went to the Lucchese boot store in San Antonio, I fell in love with the fit of it. It fit like a glove. With other boot companies, I’d be wearing a boot that was a size smaller or a size larger just so I could have a boot on me. Lucchese just changed my perspective of boots. I was so impressed with the cleanliness of it. I mean, there was no thread undone. Everything was so smooth and polished.
The first Lucchese boot that caught my eye immediately was when I went to the San Antonio store. This boot was in a glass showcase. It was a men’s traditional old-school Cowboy Torero with Womack Cord. It has one piece of leather in the front and one in the back. It has to be put on crimping boards to make the shape. I don’t know anybody else who does this, so I got four pair of them, all in black.
What is your favorite Lucchese memory?
Wow. There are so many. One thing I will never forget about is when Cavender’s had their 50th year anniversary in 2015. They were having a manager meeting and little did I know, I won the Salesman of the Year award. It was such an honor that they thought of me. Man, it blew me away.
What is something you would share with our customers?
I wish our fans could go to the factory in El Paso, Texas, and see the dedication that our employees have out there. The work that goes into one boot is incredible. Some of them have been out there for 30 or more years. It’s those men and women out there who make these boots the perfect fit for a customer. They have to have the same passion we have for us to maintain our passion and sales. They’re unsung heroes and are so important to our business.
What are your favorite Lucchese boots you own? Why?
When I think Lucchese, I think of the best, and when I think of the best, I think of my Lucchese American Alligator and Nile Crocodileboots. If I’m not wearing these, I’m wearing the Rio.
What does your closet look like?
I have two shelves that go almost all the way around my closet, and that still doesn’t fit the 45 pairs of Lucchese boots I have. I had to place the other boots on the ground.
What do you feel every day when you put on your Lucchese boots?
I feel good and my feet feel good. I’m 75 years old, and when you get to my age and you feel this good, the rest of the day is pretty wonderful.
Now that you’re retired, what’s next?
I don’t really know. After being a sales representative for 26 years at Lucchese, it’s hard to stay away from boots. The fact the Lucchese label and brand is so strong, it’s been such a wonderful ride. I loved every minute of it. The other Cavender’s employees told me that I’m not dying yet, so I can’t let it go. I have no idea what’s ahead of me, but I can tell you I will not sit around at home.
“Working in the boot business since 1973, I’ve never seen a more perfect boot than a Lucchese boot.”
We would like to thank Rae for everything he's done at Lucchese and for the boot world.