Nature remains a strong force in the wake of the pandemic, when the world turned to the outdoors to find relief from the isolating quarantine restrictions enforced around the globe. That same sentiment takes on a sartorial form in Wrangler’s Spring 2022 men’s and women’s collections, which specifically home in on the brand’s Western heritage and love of the outdoors in honor of the label’s 75th anniversary.
Though the now Kontoor Brands-owned label had its early beginnings as Blue Bell, a workwear manufacturer, the Wrangler name was introduced in 1947 as a Western jeans brand.
During a press preview this week, the brand demonstrated how it is leaning into its history with a Spring ’22 women’s collection rife with authentic Western prints and Americana influences. The women’s range features a collection of denim shirting, Southwestern-printed apparel and jeans in a range of faded washes that mimic the appearance of an old pair of jeans worn incessantly out on the farm.
Warm, earthy hues like mineral pink and aloe green punctuate the collection and further tie in themes of nature. But while most of the colors tie back to nature, the collection also plays with striping, rainbow and psychedelic prints, which are becoming increasingly popular as post-pandemic consumers push their style and color boundaries.
Wrangler’s Heritage collection, which consists of six pairs of bestselling women’s denim silhouettes, welcomes two new styles for spring, including the Barrell, a tapered wide leg, and the Rock, a cropped kick flare.
Shorts make an appearance in the spring collection, with frayed high-rise “festival shorts,” carpenter shorts and relaxed-fit shorts in a range of colorways.
With one single pair of jeans, the brand is also expanding into maternity wear. The style features a medium indigo wash and a straight leg with an elastic waistband that accommodates a growing belly.
Wrangler is expanding its outdoor performance line, All Terrain Gear (ATG), for women as well. Spring essentials include joggers and leggings that offer water-repellent, moisture-wicking and SPF properties. It also debuts a skort and short-sleeved dress option with similar functional properties and secure pockets. Hike shorts round out the women’s ATG line with linen and corduroy offerings, both equipped with compression material for added functionality.
In a Q2 earnings call in August, the company announced plans to double down on the outdoor category, adding two new distribution partners in the space: American sporting goods store chain Academy Sports + Outdoor and Swiss sporting goods retailer Intersport. It also recently announced the Wrangler Angler collection, which aims to be the go-to apparel choice for fishing garb for men and women.
On the men’s side, Western themes also take center stage, as demonstrated by a statement resort shirt in a desert cowboy print depicting cacti and horses. Western denim shirting and graphic T-shirts contain similar themes throughout. Underscoring the outdoor moment is a range of cargo shorts, which are available in neutral colors like copper, asphalt and timber and camouflage print.
As with the women’s line, the men’s line includes playful washes and prints to accommodate the move to more experimental fashion. An acid-wash denim jacket nods to the ’90s, as does a similarly washed cutoff denim short.
The line also includes an expansion of its Retro Green Jean collection, a line it launched earlier this year that gives a sustainable update to its bestselling denim to include hemp, pre-consumer recycled cotton and recycled hardware. The brand reinforces its environmental message with campaigns centered on cowboy heritage, as demonstrated by its “cowboy spirit” ad campaign which debuted earlier this fall.