The mission of the Los Angeles Bootblack contest is to recognize a member of greater Los Angeles community who can be effective in helping to cultivate the culture of Bootblacking in Los Angeles and be a strong ambassador to other leather communities both in and out of LA, with the highest standards of integrity, honor, education, service, and play.
In 2016, during the planning for Los Angeles Leather Pride 2017, Steven Carlisle (American Leatherboy 2017) approached the Los Angeles Leather Coalition with an idea to establish a Los Angeles Bootblack title. The idea was accepted and Steven pushed forward to try and garner the support and contestants to make this a reality.
Unfortunately there weren’t any contestants who would step up to run and it was decided that the title of LA Bootblack 2017 would be appointed to Bootblack Bob.
In 2018 the future of the title and contest was unknown and no Bootblack title was announced so Scarlett Sin decided to give it a go and host a revamped and brand new LA Bootblack title alongside the Ms Los Angeles title. After gaining the blessing of Steven Carlisle, she spoke to LALC Chair Gus Norris about this alongside conversations regarding the potential of joining of the Mr and Ms LA titles and over the course of the next few months it was decided that with a majority stake of ownership retained by the Ms LA Leather organization, the title would be co-produced with the LA Leather Coalition and be launched alongside the newly joined Mr/Ms contests for LA Leather Pride 2019.
Stepping up to compete were Duke Ruff and Vertis whom later had to drop out, but Duke knew he had his work cut out for him. With the first ever LA Bootblack judging panel including SD Bootblack Red, Ms West Coast Olympus 2008-09 Mina De Sade and replacing IMBB Bootblack Lucky whom had a family emergency was Danielle Venator Socal Bootblack 2016, the contest was off.
And at the end of the night, Duke became the first to wear the brand new stole, designed and made by the husband of outgoing Mr LA Leather Ben, Ben Kahookele
Duke has been a staple of LA Bootblack stands and with his own mobile stand, a gift that all LA Bootblack titleholders shall receive, he has traveled far and wide and has been a shining star building the culture of bootblacking in our city. He seeks to take this to the next level when he competes for International Bootblack 2020 in Chicago at IML.
But in the meantime, he is also looking for whom to hand the mantle to in June 2020 when it is time to select the next LA Bootblack. Will you be the one?