Wrangler Builds on Brand's Legacy in Music Launching ICONS Collection at SXSW
Following a successful Freddie Mercury-inspired campaign, the latest styles will harken back to iconic rockers more broadly.
After the successful launch of the Freddie Mercury-inspired "Bohemian Rhapsody" Collection in November 2018, jeans maker Wrangler is continuing the celebration of its rock star past with the introduction of the Wrangler ICONS Collection. An invite-only party being held Thursday (March 14) at South by Southwest in Austin, with live music provided by Robert Randolph and the Family Band, serves as a celebration of the global launch of the collection.
Inspired by designs found within the brand's archives, the collection will feature six reissued heritage styles, many worn by some of the biggest names in music history. Think Lennon, Jagger, and Mercury, although there isn't a direct tie to any specific artists in a formal sense for the line.
"We thought a really cool way to bring to celebrate how Icons have always been a part of our brand, through this collection of jeans, T-shirts, and jackets," Wrangler vp, GM North America Jenni Broyles tells Billboard. "Throughout our history we've been associated with everything from iconic rock stars to iconic rodeo riders and this line helps bring that to life."
The global launch being planned around SXSW isn't a coincidence, as the brand continues to display its strong ties to the music community by sponsoring three days of parties at this year's event. It continues a long relationship with SXSW, which alongside the Austin City Limits festival has allowed Wrangler a strong sponsorship presence at festivals in the Texas capital for years now.
"We're going to host three days of parties, from our major event on Thursday, March 14th, at the Austin Motel, through Saturday, March 16th, and that's going to really be really our global launch of this collection," Broyles explains. "The Motel is such an icon in Austin and we thought it would make for such a cool celebration of our two really authentic and historic brands -- the motel has been around since 1938, we've been here since 1947 -- and give everyone a taste of the 'real' Austin."
She continues, "I think from the artist to Wrangler, and from Wrangler to the artist, our passion and partnership with music has always span from respect. All music unifies communities of people and it has this celebration feel that is really what our brand is about."
With ICONS, Wrangler hopes to recapture the success it found with the earlier Queen-inspired collection, which saw a 90 percent sell through. While no single style here may be as instantly recognizable as Freddie Mercury's Wrangler jeans and white tank top outfit from Live Aid was for that line, Broyles says consumers will still find many pieces that harken back to legendary moments in rock, such as the line's 124MJ men's western denim jacket that Lennon was photographed wearing countless times.
"It's incredible to know that these stars chose our brand as their jean of choice and that these products we're featuring are truly those that have stood the test of time," she says. "It's always going to be in style, and for us, that's what this collection captures: the essence of the stars. And it really celebrates that culture and that style, and that transcends any kind of trend in the marketplace."
The Wrangler ICONS collection will be available on Wrangler.com, with select styles available at premium department stores and boutiques. The collection ranges from $88 to $148.