CULT BRAND: WRANGLER
By Ross Wilson, 20 August 2017
Worn triumphantly by musical style icons from John Lennon to Bob Marley, Liam Gallagher to Julian Casablancas, the classic Wrangler slim-fit denim jacket has firmly established its place in the rock’n’roll hall of fame of stars' status symbols, alongside the Fender Stratocaster guitar and Marshall amps.
Founded in North Carolina by C.C. Hudson in 1919, the ‘Blue Bell Overall Company’ initially produced denim products for railway workers. It was almost thirty years later that Blue Bell developed a range of jeans aimed at rodeo cowboys that they named ‘Wrangler’ in tribute to the riders. Their debut jeans – the Wrangler 11 MWZ – featured innovations designed especially for cowboys, including two rear pockets positioned for comfort in the saddle, a zip fly and a reinforced crotch.
Over subsequent years, Wrangler went from strength to strength, becoming one of America’s favourite denim brands alongside Levi’s and Lee. With endorsements from the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt’s now legendary blue-and-yellow ‘Wrangler Jean Machine’ car and racing suit, the brand had established itself as such an industry leader that, by the mid-90s, one in every five pairs of jeans sold in America were Wrangler.
The new season from Wrangler pays homage to the brand’s 70s heyday via a revival of its collaboration with pop artist Peter Max. Like its predecessor, this new hook-up with Max features patchwork jeans in bold, paintbox colours and patterned-denim western shirts. Other key pieces in the retro collection include Everybody Wants Some!!-worthy ringer T-shirts, illustrated jackets and Wrangler’s signature jeans in slim, skinny and tapered fits.