“A guitar strap is a fashion accessory,” says the New York City strap manufacturer, “and guitarists do tend to pull themselves together by matching their outfits and/or straps to their guitars. So I check out guitars to get ideas for cool colors, and I read fashion and guitar publications religiously to ensure my fabrics and designs are relevant. I have an edgy, rock-punk sensibility that’s influenced by the ethnic diversity of the city I live in. Everything I do is about style.”
After working in the couture world designing those fabulous bustiers, Head applied her beading talents to guitar straps in the early ’90s. “The bustiers had gone out of style with the ’80s, and my guitar-playing friends were asking me to do straps,” she explains. “I showed some designs to Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, Arlen Roth, James Burton, and others, and I got a lot of positive feedback. I did expensive, hand-beaded straps for about five years, but that’s a market niche that couldn’t be expanded, so I tried my hand at affordable models.”
Although Head still produces custom beaded straps, she began stitching and gluing more affordable, fabric-based straps in her bathroom, then trying them on to see if they felt and looked good. She now offers a full collection of strap designs (see the 2006 line at jodihead.com).
“I consider myself the Prada of guitar straps,” she says. “They’re unique, they have style, and there’s a real person behind the line. The picture on the strap tag is not a model—that’s really me.”