On Thursday, the Kontoor Brands-owned denim label debuted its “For the Ride of Life” campaign centered on the courage and optimism of Western culture. Featuring country music star Orville Peck, the Fall/Winter 2021 film follows a rap crew, a roller girl gang, an esports player and other real people pursuing their passions.
“As we continue to draw inspiration from the resilience of those around us, there’s no better time to announce our ‘For the Ride of Life’ campaign showcasing people from all walks of life getting out there and enjoying their ride,” said Holly Wheeler, vice president of global brand marketing at Wrangler. “For nearly three-quarters of a century, the Wrangler brand has fearlessly strived for a confident outlook no matter what obstacles stand in our way. We hope this campaign encourages fans of the brand to have courage, take charge and keep pushing forward through the cowboy spirit within all of us as we look to the future.”
The campaign is styled by international fashion stylist and editor Heidi Bivens, who described the brand as having a “Western mystique that feels authentic.” Now 74 years old, the heritage denim brand got its start designing jeans for rodeo use, and has maintained its cowboy aesthetic ever since.
The Wrangler aesthetic is more relevant than ever as Western denim trends rise to the forefront in pop culture, as seen in singer Dua Lipa’s music video for “Love Again,” set in a fantastical rodeo hall, and Adidas and Ivy Park’s latest “Ivy Park Rodeo” collection. The trend seems to have strong staying power, as trend forecasting firms have indicated rising interest in Western elements such as cowboy boots and the “horse girl” look. Western fashion was also a popular theme at Monday’s Met Gala.
Wrangler is riding the cowboy movement with aggressive expansion plans, specifically in China where it launched its initial product offering through Alibaba Group’s Tmall e-commerce site in December 2020. The brand also introduced Lady Wrangler, a collection of women’s Western and bohemian fashion denim for sizes up to 24W.
Wrangler’s “For the Ride of Life” campaign launches with broadcast commercials across cable and network TV beginning Sept. 16 in North America and Europe, and will be introduced in other regions of the world in the coming months.