303 Style Profile is an ongoing series highlighting unique locals and their incredible style and stories. Go here to see past profiles.
Denver native, Kendra Montoya, had never considered playing team sports until about 11 years ago, when she saw Rollergirls for the first time. The 2006 A&E Network reality show followed the lives of the Austin, Texas Lonestar Rollergirls roller derby league stars, inviting viewers into a world where tough women ruled the streets and the track with grit and determination. The show inspired Montoya to run to a local Sports Authority, but a pair of $50 skates and never look back. Today, she’s a solid blocker for the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls, and goes by the name of BATass. We recently caught up with BATass to talk about how derby has changed her style over the past decade.
“I fully believe that derby is responsible for the resurgence of fanny packs and crop tops.”
303 Magazine: First of all, how did you pick that name?
Kendra Montoya: My friend Eric and I were 18, and we thought butt tattoos were hilarious. so we went and got some tongue-in-cheek ones. I’ve always loved bats, so I got one on my ass, so I could be a “bat ass.” He got a moon, so he could literally moon people. We thought we were pretty clever and hilarious. I’ve kind of gone by the nickname “BATass” ever since, and when I joined roller derby, it seemed right to just make that official.
303: Is she your alter ego?
KM: Nope, I’m pretty much the same all the times—much to the chagrin of my parents and employers.
303: Do derby girls have their own unique style?
KM: Absolutely! It’s a mix of punk rock, genderqueer and ironic, throwback styles. I fully believe that derby is responsible for the resurgence of fanny packs and crop tops.
303: How has being a derby girl affected your style?
KM: Being in derby has improved my body confidence tremendously, and that in turn has allowed me to express myself in ways I may not have dared before.
303: Describe your closet.
KM: My closet is OVERSTUFFED! I seriously own way too many clothes. I could probably wear a different t-shirt every day for a year without ever doing any laundry.
303: Who are your style icons?
KM: I like to think I will steal some style from anyone at any time. I’m constantly “shopping” when I people watch.
303: If you could raid anyone’s closet, whose would it be and why?
KM: Probably someone ridiculous like Mondo from Project Runway.
303: What is your favorite item in your closet?
KM: It’s so hard to choose! I really love my animal onesie collection, but I don’t get to wear them as often as I’d like. I have some dresses with pockets that are a go-to when I want to look classy but still have pockets. I probably wear t-shirts the most often, but I have so many favorites.
303: Where do you like to shop in Denver?
KM: I thrive on thrift stores. I’m so bummed Savers closed down. I probably go to arc thrift stores the most. All thrift stores have the potential to be a total goldmine or a dud on any given day. My rule is if I don’t find something completely awesome in the first five minutes, I’m on to the next one.
303: What is your style advice?
KM: If you can get it on, you can pull it off! Style is all about confidence. Who cares what anyone else thinks? If you feel awesome, wear it!
Photography by Kacie Loura.