There were fashion-forward rock stars before Queen, but Freddie Mercury was one of the first to truly understand the impact that could be achieved through choice of outfits. The singer is quoted in a 1977 issue of the defunct Circus Magazine explaining, “We think a show should be a spectacle. A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event…it’s a fashion show. I dress to kill, but tastefully.”
While Mercury was fond of sporting outrageous full-length bodysuits with plunging necklines that bared his chest throughout his career, one of his most iconic looks was at Live Aid in 1985, when the singer took the stage at Wembley Stadium modeling a simple white tank top and a pair of Wrangler jeans. The outfit and performance have gone on to be so recognizable that the new film celebrating Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, both opens and closes with the historic performance seen in London that day.
Now Wrangler announces its official Bohemian Rhapsody collection, produced in collaboration with music lifestyle brand Lyric Culture — a line of of T-shirts, jeans, and jackets emblazoned with lyrics from the Queen catalog.
“Wrangler has a long history of celebrating music,” Jenni Broyles, VP/GM of Wrangler Modern Lifestyle, told Billboard. “Since 1947 we’ve partnered with legendary recording artists, supported music festivals and events all around, and for us we view both music and our brand as a connector. We’ve been on the likes of George Strait and Garth Brooks, but we’ve also been on the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Lady Gaga. Our brand has stood the test of time, and has been on the backs of music legends throughout the entirety of our seventy-three year history.”
The collection, with lyrics from hits such as “Killer Queen” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” found on apparel like denim shirts and jackets, will be available to purchase exclusively here.
“We really loved this collection, and just thought it was cool, so thought we’d keep it to ourselves. We really wanted to be able to tell the story in our way, and us being able to put it on Wrangler.com just felt right,” said Broyles. “DTC – Direct to Consumer – is a big area of growth for us, so having this collection on Wrangler.com encourages growth in that department for us.”
The announcement of the Bohemian Rhapsody collection comes on the heels of the brand’s recent introduction in late October of Capitol Records Nashville country singer Jon Pardi as the face of Wrangler Retro. While the news of the reigning CMA “New Artist of the Year” serving as the face of the brand’s “modern fit options for the new cowboy and cowgirl” would seem to harken back to the long association that the denim manufacturer has had with country music, Broyles explains it’s just one more avenue in which Wrangler shows its support to the music community.
“We’ve been a presence at recent music festivals like Austin City Limits and SXSW, in addition to our work with the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association. I don’t think this is the start of our foray into music, so much as it’s actually a major part of who we are as a brand, and will continue to be a big part of Wrangler,” said Broyles.