Northwest Bootblack Contest


To qualify, contestants must self-identify as a bootblack, have been active in the community for a minimum of one year, be at least 21 years of age by the application deadline, and live in the Northwest Region – Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Western Canada. Contestants may, but are not required to, have a local or state bootblack title. Contestants must be articulate, have chair experience, be an educator, speak about current issues facing bootblacks, and represent the Northwest Region.

The contest is open to bootblacks regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The title is not about a particular look, dress, body type. Contestants are not required to have a formal platform; however, questions from the judges regarding any specific plans or goals are appropriate.

Titleholder may elect to compete for an international title, or focus on service within the Northwest Region.

Contestants are Judged in Five Areas

  1. Bootblack and Leather Care Skills, as observed by the judges during "Open Shine" time, gauged in two areas (total of 150 Points)
    - Technical Ability (100 points)
    - Chair Management (50 points)
  2. Interview with the judging panel (100 points)
  3. Two-minute Speech given on stage by each contestant (100 points)
  4. Ten-minute educational Presentation on a bootblacking/leather care topic (50 points)
  5. Pop Question answered on stage by each contestant (50 points)
  6. Overall Image and Personality as observed by the judges throughout the contest weekend (50 points)
  7. A minimum of 70% of the possible points available are required to win, regardless of the number of contestants competing. There are three judges and all scores are included.

Titleholder Responsibilities

The titleholder's primary mission is to educate the leather, fetish/bdsm/kink, and M/s communities by attending, bootblacking at, and teaching at a minimum of four events during the title year. These events need not be large events. Presentations at smaller venues, such as local bar events or for one's local dungeon or club fulfills the requirement just as well as presentations offered at large weekend conferences.

The titleholder must also attend Northwest Leather Celebration the year following their victory and participate in the step down process. In addition to these responsibilities, the winner is required to provide quarterly activity and expense reports to the contest Owners. The travel fund is disbursed quarterly. Titleholders who serve less than a full year will not receive the entire year's travel fund.

The titleholder may elect to compete for an international title, or focus on service within the Northwest Region.

Regional bootblack titleholders must agree that during the title year and thereafter, they will not engage in interviews with or appear in "vanilla" mainstream media (whether print, television, film, radio or internet based) to discuss or call attention to the Northwest Bootblack Contest without the express written consent of the Owners/Producers of the Northwest Bootblack Contest. In addition to promoting bootblacking and representing the Northwest, the winner is expected to promote Northwest Leather Celebration, the host event for the Northwest Bootblack contest, as well as help recruit and encourage the following year's contestants.