Western & English Today

Fall 2017

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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26 Western & English Today FALL 2017 8 6 6 . 6 7 2 . 2 1 4 8 cardenashats.com WESA September 2017 Booth # PB 547 e company continued to stay relevant in that market as the '70s arrived, and with it, the popular first collaboration with famed artist Peter Max. "At the same time that Wrangler was extremely involved in rodeo, it also had the breadth within the brand to expand into a collaboration with someone like Peter Max, so it made for very interest- ing growth," Errington says. e company came into the 1980s and '90s with a strong emphasis on showing sup- port for the Western lifestyle, especially professional rodeo and bull riding, becoming a major sponsor in many areas. "We were born making jeans designed by cowboys and for cowboys, and even though the brand has evolved as a global brand, at the heart and soul that's still what we're about," says Allen Montgomery, Wrangler's general manager. Montgomery says the focus of the company is to make the consumers' lives better, from designing apparel that makes their jobs easier and more comfortable, to supporting and aligning the brand with professional rodeo associations and events, junior rodeo associations, 4-H and Future Farmers of America programs, as well as country music. "We support those because that's what makes our brand great, and it's the way that we really communicate with our consumers as best we possibly can," he says. Montgomery acknowledges that times are changing for retail companies, with more and more consumers shopping online. But Wrangler is no stranger to change, having begun in the era of the post-World War II shi to suburban life. With that shi only expanding over the years, Wrangler has stayed strong because it is a lifestyle brand, and the rural heart of people still runs deep, Montgomery says. "Lifestyle-driven brands, which Wrangler definitely is, are in a good position," Montgomery says. "Even though they shop much more digitally and online, if you're a lifestyle-driven brand, consumers still want to go out [and buy]. at's what makes their life fun, so we really work hard with our brand to be lifestyle-driven. We work closely with our retailers, and we work to make sure we're in touch with where our consumers are going, so we can continue to do that." Montgomery cites Wrangler's innovation in performance-driven Westernwear such as fabrics for stretch and range of movement and wicking and cooling. is year the company will continue to focus on those advancements, as well as its other lines like the George Strait-branded apparel and a new cowboy artist collaboration with Bradley Chance Hays. All the while, Wrangler maintains scholarships and sponsorships, as well as the brand's Tough Enough to Wear Pink line aimed at aiding the fight against breast cancer, and the Wrangler National Patriot program in support of America's veterans. Montgomery explains that global cities drive growth, but consumers stay in touch with their desired lifestyle. "Consumers are still going to fall back to what really is important to them in life, and we see more and more of our consumers that may have grown up in the country and living that lifestyle, and now they live in the suburbs, but still that's what they enjoy, so they go rope on the weekends, or they do things that allow them to still touch that, and we think going forward, that will hold up." It's a benefit that Wrangler has a history of being able to balance change and fashion- forward design with its focus on foundation, Errington says. "rough these 70 years, all of the history and heritage that Wrangler has, it really rolls up to create something that not many brands can claim, and that is authenticity. "ere's a foundation to the brand that has been respected from the '40s and on into the 2000s as well. It's that attention to the needs of the consumers that has really been the common thread. [Consumers] can rely on Wrangler functionally, but they can also rely on it from a style standpoint and a relevance standpoint. Regardless of the decade, that has been a constant theme for Wrangler." The 70th Anniversary Collection in limited release can be found on wrangler.com, in Europe and Asia, with U.S. availability in Wrangler flagship stores in Dallas and Denver and select retailers this Septem- ber. To continue the anniversary festivities, special shopping experiences will be open to the public at the Wrangler flagship stores. And a weeklong celebration will take place in Greensboro, North Carolina, this fall with the city becoming "Jeansboro," hosting fashion week and a Wrangler birthday celebration.

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