Anyone who has a television has heard of, if not watched (all 47 episodes) the hit television series Yellowstone starring Kevin Costner, Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, and Cole Hauser. The series first aired in 2018 but gained rapid popularity in 2020 when many found themselves with a lot of extra downtime while working from home. We sat down with Wrangler Executives Edyie Bryant: PR, Event and Music Marketing, and Allen Montgomery: Vice President of NAM Western & Workwear, and got the insider scoop on Wrangler’s latest collaboration with the hit TV show, Yellowstone.
Fans of Yellowstone have been pointing out Wrangler throughout the series, but how did the collaboration come together?
Allen: When the show first started the characters, I thought, was really true to what you’d see people wearing out in the lifestyle. You saw a combination of brands of course, but characters who work in the bunkhouse were definitely wearing Wrangler, which we would call an “authentic consumer”, and that’s who we’d expect to see wearing it. You’d see Wrangler banners in the rodeo arena scenes as well which is something we provided them.
Edyie: We did provide those banners to them because the producers wanted everything to look as authentic as possible. Obviously, we fit right into that lifestyle so we ended up working really closely with them in the looks they were going for, and the things they requested, and as the seasons have gone forward, as the characters age, we collaborated with them to making the selections in costume design to make sure they were period appropriate. We helped make sure characters, like Rip, were in the correct clothing pieces like Retro versus Cowboy cut jeans. I think the costume designer did a great job of keeping everything very authentic!
Allen: As the series has evolved and grown in popularity, Paramount realized that everyone could take advantage of monetizing some of these things and that’s where we became involved. We definitely saw an opportunity to highlight and expose our brand on the show as well as make and sell products through our retailers and our own .com site. We looked at it two ways, 1. Fanwear (t-shirts and hoodies that are branded for the Dutton Ranch) and 2. The authentic product carried some of the traits of the workwear. So things like jackets, work shirts, and other things that someone on the Dutton Ranch would actually wear. Another thing that Yellowstone shows is what we think is a true image of the Western lifestyle that exists out there. This is unusual because a lot of times you see stuff and can tell people are trying, but you really see some things that are happening in the show that we’d say are reflective of how we look at the Western lifestyle and what we look at to capture and develop products. We really like that the characters in Yellowstone reflect a lot of our consumers and rodeo athletes that we work with on a regular basis.
What has the experience been like working with the Yellowstone camp?
Edyie: Everything on our end has been working with Joanna Boone who is the lead costume designer and it’s been an amazing and positive experience! She did an awesome job with the authenticity and even when the cast had certain requests for their looks, she made sure those were met. Their looks have been consistent throughout the series and we’re all really happy with the way it’s turned out.
What can fans of Wrangler and/or Yellowstone expect with this collaboration?
Allen: We’ll continue to build on what’s really true to the Wrangler brand, but it’ll have that Yellowstone twist. There’s all kinds of Yellowstone stuff out there now, but it’s not Wrangler and I think that differentiates us from everything else. There are not a lot of people out there that can do the work shirts, trucker jackets, and items that people that would be working on the Dutton Ranch would actually wear as Wrangler can. We want to stay true to the authentic western workwear that would be worn by the people that were actually there in addition to the “fan wear.” Wrangler was born out of innovation 75 years ago when the first jeans were made. It was originally workwear and in 1947 we sat down with the top rodeo athletes of the world back then and asked them what they needed to ride better. From that, we were able to create the first pair of Wranglers and we still make that same jean to this day. That’s what’s allowed us to move this brand forward it’s born out of innovation and we still continue to innovate, but at the same time, we make sure we’re in line with culture and fashion trends to make sure the brand stays relevant.
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