Southwest Leather Conference honors the historical roots of bootblacking in the leather community and is dedicated to promoting the bootblacks of the Southwest region. The Southwest Bootblack Contest was established to direct attention to the bootblack's art and skills and to recognize the dedication, spirit and service heart that the very best in the bootblack community exemplify.
Bootblack camaraderie is a focal point of the event as contestants shine side by side with other bootblacks attending the event. The rapport spreads throughout the entire event as the bootblacks host a rollicking party on one evening of the weekend celebration. At the inaugural Southwest Bootblack Contest in 2005 contestants, bootblacks and event guests shared a chocolate birthday cake in a fashion that has become a tradition for bootblack gatherings nationwide.
In its inception in 2005 the Southwest Bootblack Contest was not a feeder contest for any specific competition. Henry James took the Southwest Bootblack title to the International Community Bootblack Competition 2006 and won first place. Other fabulous bootblacks have competed in the Southwest Bootblack Contest. Even contestants who have competed but did not win the regional title have gone on to win international titles. Ms V won International Ms Bootblack 2007 and Jason DaBoi took that same title in 2010.
Below is the pictorial history of the stellar individuals who have represented the Southwest region as the Bootback titleholders (click on picture to enlarge):