Wrangler is making good on its plans to expand into new product categories. The Kontoor Brands-owned heritage jean brand entered the home goods fray this week with a limited-edition collection with Pottery Barn Teen.
The collection includes curtains, tapestries, lounge sectionals and loveseats, bean bag chairs, quilts and shams, duvet covers, storage bins, sheets and rug. The collection retails for $28-$1,499 and is available now on the Pottery Barn Teen website.
“When you look at Wrangler as an almost 75-year-old heritage American brand, you think of comfort and durability,” said Steve Armus, Kontoor Brands vice president of global partnership and licensing. “For me furniture and home goods were always on that list; it was top of mind.”
Wrangler has dabbled in home before, but Armus said it felt like right time to get back into this business with a collaborator that has deep knowledge of the product and audience. “Having the right partner in this kind of exercise is really the most important thing,” he said. “We like doing business with partners and brands that are first rate the way we are.”
Pottery Barn Teen, he said, proved itself throughout this collaboration to be first class with its understanding of the market, the consumer, the quality of the product it makes, its design and the care it is willing to take to design products that showcase the brands in the best light.
“I found out a long time ago when you do business with category leaders, you listen to them a lot, and you play towards their strengths,” Armus said. “Pottery Barn Teen is best-in-class in those ways, and that really attracted them to us.”
The partnership was initiated before the pandemic, allowing Pottery Barn Teen’s senior product and merchant design teams to visit Wrangler’s Greensboro, N.C., offices. There, the members of the Wrangler team spent the entire day walking them through their lines, what’s important to the brand, its key looks and what people tend to gravitate towards.
From a product side, however, Armus said Pottery Barn Teen took the lead, understanding what works best for the consumer.
“It was a good holistic listening on both sides to come up with, ultimately, what we think is a collection that really brings out the best of both of us,” he said. “It’s been my history that that’s how those things get done. If we were to dictate what works, it wouldn’t be the best it could be. We share each other’s values and came up with what was really nice collection for both parties.”
The Wrangler x Pottery Barn Teen collection arrives in the market during a time when more consumers are spending time in their homes for school and work, and nesting to make their environment more comfortable. “We expected [the collection] would do well because of what it is, who we are and who Pottery Barn Teen is,” Armus said. “Given the times that we’re in, we hope it’ll do better because it is trend-right.”
Increasingly, fashion brands are stepping into the category. This week, fast-fashion retailer Mango announced it would introduce homewares via its e-commerce platform during the second quarter in 20 European markets. Mango will initially launch a capsule collection inspired by Mediterranean living, focusing solely on textiles. The Spanish company expects to gradually add tableware and products for the living room. Last year, sustainable fashion brand Eileen Fisher bowed a limited line of felted denim home products in partnership with West Elm.
“The home goods sector, if you’re in the right product categories, is doing well,” Armus said.
Products in the collection also reinforce Wrangler’s commitment to sustainability. The tapestries are printed on a canvas made from 100 percent Repreve polyester from recycled plastic water bottles. Storage bins are made with upcycled scraps of denim and raffia, meaning no two are alike. Organic cotton and BCI cotton are used throughout, and curtains are made in a Fair-Trade Certified facility.
Home will be a long-term business for Wrangler, Armus said. “Wrangler is an all-American, authentic brand, and for us, there’s a lot of ways to translate how that brand is going to show up at retail beyond apparel,” he said. “We’ve proven ourselves as durable, competent, great apparel makers for many, many years. We feel there’s many more category extensions for the brand.”