“Ben Cote wanted a bottle opener on his strap, which is something every guitarist needs whether they know it or not!” Inside the rise of Fairfield Guitar Co., strap company to the stars

Fairfield Guitar Co.
An assortment of custom strap designs by Fairfield Guitar Co., including a model designed with Accept guitarist Philip Shouse [right] (Image credit: Fairfield Guitar Co.)

Artist signature guitars, amps and pedals designed in collaboration with guitarists are common these days. However, Fairfield Guitar Co. might be the only company that offers artist guitar straps designed with similar input and attention to detail. 

Earlier this year Fairfield Guitar Co. released a trio of custom straps designed with Ben Cote (the Ben Cote Band), Frankie Lindia (Atomic Punks, David Lee Roth, Ratt) and Philip Shouse (Accept, Ace Frehley) that prove that there’s much more to guitar strap design than cool looks.

“Who better to instruct me about designing a strap than someone who is using one constantly on tour?” says Fairfield’s Louis Costa. “I work for a men’s clothing company and started making straps for friends during Covid. I eventually got my straps into the hands of some artists, and it snowballed from there.”

Costa asked players what they really needed from a guitar strap. “They all have a vision of what is important to them,” he says. “Philip said he needed something wide and comfortable. His strap is so comfortable that he told his chiropractor to recommend it to other guitarists. 

“Ben Cote wanted an ’80s-themed strap that was cool looking – he was less concerned about comfort. He’s young so he doesn’t know about backaches yet. Frankie likes to take his shirt off while he plays, so he wanted a strap that felt smooth against his body. He also wanted a bottle opener on his strap, which is something every guitarist needs whether they know it or not!”

Costa recently added Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano to his growing roster. “Rob wanted something that is easily adjustable. He wears his guitars high at the beginning of a tour, but as the tour progresses he wears his guitars lower and lower. He wanted to easily adjust the strap’s length without having to constantly remove and remount his wireless transmitter.”

Fairfield Guitar Co. straps are built to last and endure constant use and abuse on stage. The artist straps are all limited-edition offerings made from the highest quality materials, yet the prices are reasonable and comparable to those of other quality straps. 

“I’ve worked with leather and fabric for many years in my ‘day job’ and played guitar for 36 years,” Costa says.

“You have to do something for a while to be able to get things right. Making straps started as a side passion, but it’s turning into a business. Every artist I’ve worked with has approached their designs with similar passion, and hopefully that translates to something other people will want, too.”

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Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.