Wrangler sets its sights on the Millennial market
Wrangler is an old hand at the denim game. This year, the VF Corp-owned label is feting its 70th anniversary, and amongst the celebrations planned is the launch of the Peter Max capsule collection, one of the initiatives aimed to update the label's look. "We had an image that was both too masculine and a bit old. Let's say that we weren't the number one brand for young people. So this capsule collection, entirely co-ed, is here to surprise everyone and showcase what we can do in terms of style," explains Sean Gormley, creative director since 2014.
The brand is bringing its offering up-to-date with inspiration from Peter Max, American artist and pop-art figure, with whom it created a collaborative line in the 1970s. At the time, the brand known for its 5 pocket jeans was a fashion staple, an icon of the Woodstock Summer of Love that had marked the end of the previous decade.
For Spring/Summer 2017, the capsule comprises 15 garments for men and 15 for women. Far from being confined to jeans, it includes shorts, T-shirts, sweaters, shirts and blouses with cargo pockets. Amongst the key details are the patches adorning the jeans and jackets. The uber-colourful line, which draws as much from pop-art as pyschedelia, will be available until Spring/Summer 2018. It will be manufactured in Italy and Turkey.
The line was in fact launched exclusively at Parisian boutique Colette, which has dedicated a window display to the collection until June 15. Besides Colette, it is currently only distributed via the e-shop, but eventually other multibrand outlets, including Citadium, will stock it. The label is also set to make the most of the festival season to gain visibility, participating at a handful of well-known festivals including Glastonbury, one of England's most famous and which will see 135,000 attendees at the end of June this year.
"The Peter Max capsule is positive and optimistic. It's anchored in a very '70s 'heritage' spirit. For us, the line is an opportunity to speak to young people, to better target them, much like our new campaign that was launched in April," explains Gormley, before adding: "Wrangler was one of the brands that set the pace in the '70s both for men and women. It was daring; it had a provocative, sexy image. We want to bring back that energy."
The label's main line has also undergone several fundamental changes in order to attract a wider client base: rebalancing men's and women's collections, particularly with more women's tops; developing new fits more in line with the times, and jeans without stretch for a more 'authentic' look, as well as highlighting the house logo, reinterpreted for a modern feel. "We're keen on showing our lifestyle identity, carried in our DNA, which is denim. That also involves retail and we are looking to open a monobrand store in Paris to make our brand more visible," Gormley concludes.
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