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What’s Old is New Again: Wrangler Celebrates 70 Years with Retro Revitalization

Tags: Brand News

What’s Old is New Again: Wrangler Celebrates 70 Years with Retro Revitalization

June 29, 2017


Key Dates in Wrangler History

  • 1947: Wrangler authentic western jeans,
    designed by celebrity tailor Rodeo Ben, are
    introduced to the American consumer
  • 1962: Blue Bell, which owns Wrangler, opens
    a plant in Belgium, and the Wrangler brand
    is successfully launched in Europe
  • 1974: Wrangler jeans and shirts become the
    first, and still only, western wear brand to be
    officially endorsed by the Pro Rodeo
    Cowboy Association
  • 1981: Wrangler brand becomes the primary
    sponsor of professional driver Dale Earnhardt
    and the legendary blue-and-yellow “Wrangler
    Jean Machine”
  • 1986: VF acquires Blue Bell
  • 1996: Wrangler becomes the No. 1 market
    share leader in the U.S., and one out of every
    four males in the U.S. is wearing a
    Wrangler jean
  • 2013: WranglerNetwork.com launches and
    features live rodeo streaming video footage,
    rodeo scores and stats, and country music
    videos, including the songwriter series
    each month

For more information about Wrangler’s history,

The 1970s was an iconic time in fashion history — from stone washed jeans to bold blue shades to vibrant graphic tees. It was during this decade that Wrangler® became a definitive brand of youth culture, and it hasn’t looked back since. 

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the brand is returning to the upbeat and optimistic vibe of the 1970s with the Wrangler 70 Years campaign. The global campaign marries heritage and style with a new collection that has a retro feel and includes a special collection with ‘70s pop art icon Peter Max. The brand and Max originally collaborated in the early ‘70s.

“The 70-year milestone is a tremendous one and what better way to acknowledge it than to take a trip into our past and reimagine some of those styles for today,” said Craig Errington, vice president of marketing, Wrangler.

Wrangler traces its origins to 1897 when C.C. Hudson relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina, and started working in an overall factory. Less than a decade later, Hudson founded the company that would become known as the Blue Bell Overall Company. In 1947, Blue Bell, which owned Wrangler, introduced the brand’s authentic western jeans to the American consumer.

VF acquired Blue Bell in 1986. With $1.7 billion in annual revenues in 2016, Wrangler is one of the largest brands in VF’s portfolio and a centerpiece of the company’s Jeanswear business.

More information about Wrangler’s anniversary activities is available here.