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.

Issue link: https://wetoday.epubxp.com/i/861966

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Page 32 of 35

FALL 2017 Western & English Today 31 sought input from professional rodeo cowboys like world champions Jim Shoulders and Freckles Brown to develop key elements in the design that suited them specifi cally and included the "Seven Icons of Denim": fl at rivets, watch pocket, felled seams, seven belt loops, "W" stitching, Wrangler patch, and the Wrangler rope logo. "It was originally designed by cowboys, for cowboys," Errington says. In the years following, the brand evolved to not only stay true to its cowboy culture, but also to encompass a wider range of consum- ers. Women's products appeared in the mid- to late-1950s. Leisure suits, slacks, golf shirts, and shorts all became part of the Wrangler lineup by the 1960s and '70s, Errington says. "Wrangler continued to maintain its stronghold for Westernwear, but it expanded quite a bit in the '60s and '70s to [reach] younger con- sumers," Errington adds, citing an iconic 1966 Newsweek cover article featuring a young girl on the back of a motorcycle wearing Wrangler jeans. e article was titled " e Teen-Agers." "It's one of the fi rst times that particular term was ever used, and it was tied into this young teen- ager wearing Wrangler jeans. It was a full feature article on this new generation ... and so Wrangler was a key part of that. It really signifi ed not just the growth of the Wrangler brand, but it signifi ed denim and jeans truly becoming a really iconic item with consumers' wardrobes, and so Wrangler was right there as a major player," Errington says. 1947 "Rodeo Ben" Lichtenstein is hired to design jeans for the authentic cowboy. 1950s Wrangler debuts the fi rst Western jean designed to fi t women, moving the zipper from the side to the front. 1950s Rodeo sponsorships lead to the rise of team jackets. 1968 Blue Bell logo is removed, and the Wrangler "W" back pocket patch stands on its own. 1980s The ongoing relationship with the Earnhardt family dates back to Dale Sr.'s fi rst nationally sponsored car, The Wrangler Jean Machine. 1990s Roots within music strengthen, including a relationship with the King of Country, George Strait, which has lasted three decades. 2010s Launch of Wrangler Network, an online media source dedicated to sharing Western lifestyle content like live rodeo and country music events. To celebrate its landmark anniversary, Wrangler has released a limited-edition collection of printed tees and jeans with '70s retro appeal. 70TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

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