Brand Spotlight: HARD by Karen West Designs

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HARD by Karen West Designs offers belts, belt accessories, Clipz, and Keepers all with a rocking assertiveness. Her trademark and patent pending Beltatude™ has caught the eye of legendary rock stars like Lita Ford, Rikki Rockett and Lzzy Hale and is making serious headway into the rock n’ roll scene. It is the perfect accessory to change up your look and to channel your inner rocker attitude! 

All it took was a little bit of innovation and some leftover leather and Beltatude™ was born on the workbench of Karen West. She exclaims, “I always liked the look of diagonal hemlines—they are flattering on everyone. I believe strongly about having accessories that are multi-functional.” Handmade with genuine leather and fitting belts up to one and a half inches, Beltatude™ slides onto the belt and embellishes it with charms, chains and conchos. The add-ons are manufactured with a screw attachment as opposed to a rivet, therefore allowing them to be easily interchangeable. The belts from HARD also have the same type conchos and come with buckles that are also removable.  So one day it may be skulls, the next day can be crosses.  Rock on!

Cherie Currie and Lita Ford at Days of the Dead [Photo by Karen West]

Lita Ford with Cherie Currie and Chris Blair (costume designer)
at the Days of the Dead Convention.  Lita is wearing Beltatude™ ,
Hell Bent for Leather belt and her spike slip.
Photo credit: Karen West

Around the time that West was creating Beltatude™, she saw Def Leppard with Poison and Lita Ford. Thanks to social media, a conversation between Poison’s drummer, Rikki Rockett, led to some backstage passes and a personal delivery of his own rocking belt. Lucky for her, she brought some extra belts and the Beltatude™ proto-type design, which caught the attention of rock goddess, Lita Ford. Lita tried them on, exclaiming, “They’re like wallet chain’s, but BAD ASS!” Seeing Lita Ford wearing West’s designs looks as if they were made just for her, and seeing Lita wear them is an absolute great feeling for West.  

Lita Ford continued to rock West’s designs, and wore them in Corpus Christi, where she headlined a show, and then again in San Antonio, where West got to personally witness her infamous performance on the bar top at the Korova. Later on, Lita Ford was looking for a belt to be made for a video, so she commissioned West for the project.  Although the director ended up going in a different direction and did use West’s belt design, the communication between Ford and West developed into a beautiful business relationship. Lita Ford then became an endorser for West’s product line HARD and Beltatude™.  “It has been amazing working with her and creating cool stuff for her to wear,” says West. The belt clips West made were specifically inspired by Lita Ford and she has a version of her black widow belt clip for sale exclusively on her store online at

Rock Hard Designs -

Lzzy Hale and David Ellefson are both new clients that found West through mutual acquaintances and again thanks to social media.  Both will be touring soon and sporting their accessories from HARD.  West is really looking forward to seeing them on stage wearing her products!  West gives a huge thanks to Rikki Rockett for introducing her to Lita Ford and helping to establish her amazing product line.  She also greatly appreciates Lita Ford’s feedback and support and thanks her for her most recent success. 

Lita Ford again with Dee Snyder, Stephen Pearcy and Don Jamieson from That Metal Show.  Here Lita is wearing her Hell Bent for Leather belt, custom black widow Beltatude™  and a spike clip all from HARD!  Photo credit: Karen West

Lita Ford again with Dee Snyder, Stephen Pearcy and Don Jamieson from That Metal Show.
Here Lita is wearing her Hell Bent for Leather belt, custom black widow Beltatude™  and a spike clip all from HARD!
Photo credit: Karen West

West is busy planning new designs that are moving into some different styles, and she continues to play with them and find interesting ways to “rock them out.” She is currently concentrating on her Beltatude™ design and other new belt accessories like her multi-functional belt clips. 

They can be clipped to a belt loop, chain/necklace, purse, Beltatude™ or with a swag clip, which is her version of wallet chain that isn’t a wallet chain. She feels, “there are so many other awesome designers out there, who make amazing belts and cuffs and I feel my time is best served promoting Beltatude™, which is a brand new, unique, accessory!”

Please check out HARD by Karen West Designs at and follow me on Facebook at, or on Twitter at

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