Wrangler And The Metaverse:
Consider the future of men’s fashion soon to be cross-pollinated with the change agents of seismic impact in Metaverse. Non-fungible tokens, better known as NTFs, have taken cyberspace to new frontiers with no turning back in sight. Hold onto your hats fellas, the Metaverse is the new wild wild west. NFTs have amassed a cult-like following within the fashion industry. In fact, this blockchain-based technology has no doubt revolutionized the future of the fashion business altogether.
NFTs work hand-in-hand with blockchain technology by confirming the legitimacy and ownership of digital content.Every token has its own distinctive and non-interchangeable data recorded on an online blockchain ledger thus legitimizing ownership. Essentially an NFT is the DNA of things. Like humans, no two NFTs can be the same which is why they are referred to as “non-fungible.” Any brand or person can “mint” an NFT, which has led to an abundant number of NFTs for sale.
Today, Wrangler ® announces first-of-its-kind NFT, that links the metaverse with physical world. To kickstart Wrangler’s 75th Anniversary celebration, the brand is partnering with Grammy- winner Leon Bridges, Wrangler’s 2022 global men’s ambassador, and inviting fans on a new adventure with a suite of NFT drops of fashion, music, and art experiences.
Given its 75 years in the business of making denim,Wrangler is about to take on the Metaverse. Wrangler®, of Kontoor Brands has been an iconic American denim brand operating from Greensboro, NC for the last 75 years. The brands legacy is rooted in the Western lifestyle. The company started out by making overalls and eventually segued to denim jeans to adhere to changes in consumer lifestyle. In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the hippie movement helped make Wrangler the number one selling denim brand in the USA.MORE FROMFORBES ADVISORBest Travel Insurance CompaniesByAmy DaniseEditorBest Covid-19 Travel Insurance PlansByAmy DaniseEditor
Although Wrangler no longer manufacturers in-the-USA , it still remains an iconic American brand due to its rich heritage.
In celebration of the partnership with recording artist Leon Bridges, and under the ‘Mr. Wrangler’ moniker, the brand will launch a two-part NFT drop that puts fans in the heat of the action. Wrangler will release 75 digitally animated Icon-tier NFTs featuring one of Bridges’ signature dance moves. The anticipated release of each icon-tier NFT gives collectors access to digital communities, virtual Wrangler-branded metaverse wearables plus one VIP pass to a by- invitation-only, private performance by Leon Bridges at New York Fashion Week in September 2022. And once the seven-day auction on the LTD.INC platform concludes, these 75 Icon-level digital NFTs will be tradeable on secondary NFT marketplaces including OpenSea.
Then, in September 2022, Wrangler will unveil and auction a one-and-only Legendary-Tier NFT, featuring a replica of the Wrangler custom denim jacket and jeans outfit created for Leon Bridges. Delivered in a custom crafted retro-futuristic suitcase, the physical suit, the only other one in existence outside of Bridges’ private archive, has been meticulously constructed with a vault of digital content sewn into its seams, granting the auction winner exclusive access to content which Bridges created for the event. The accompanying 1-of-1 digital NFT will represent ownership of this work of art on the blockchain, which will live exclusively on the LTD.INC platform, where it holds exclusive properties only available to the NFT holder.
“Fashion, technology and music influence us all, and I love the way Wrangler is interconnecting all three on this wild ride,” said Bridges. “Through Wrangler, I channel my Texas roots and the essence of who I am, so I’m honored to help the brand celebrate its history while continuing to write the future.” “Wrangler is a brand that has always been inspired by and thrived in the Wild West, and the metaverse is simply the next destination for us,” explains Tom Waldron, global brand president at Wrangler. “We’re celebrating 75 years of history by driving towards the future of fashion, looking across the horizon at what’s next. We can’t wait to celebrate with Leon Bridges and all our fans through this series of unexpected physical, digital and metaverse experiences.”
I recently has the privilege of speaking with Leon Bridges about how his music is R&B based, why he’s thrilled to announce the launch of an exclusive digital NFT and why how Wrangler helped launch his career in music!
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about your history and current relationship with Wrangler?
Leon Bridges: I wouldn’t be where I am today without my Wrangler jeans; they helped me make my first connection in the music industry and are a huge part of my style to this day. Fashion and music are emblematic of self-expression and identity, and there’s no brand more synonymous with my western roots and the Texas lifestyle than Wrangler. I’m honored to celebrate Wrangler’s 75th anniversary and to be a face of the brand during such an important moment in its history.
JD: In your words, what is your favorite Wrangler item and why?
LB: My favorite Wrangler item has to be my high-waisted Wrangler jeans that I was discovered in back in 2015 in a local Ft. Worth restaurant. The girlfriend of White Denim’s Austin Jenkins approached me saying that her boyfriend was also a collector of vintage high-waisted Wranglers, which ultimately started the conversation that led to my record deal. I owe a lot to my vintage Wrangler jeans, and am thrilled to be working with a brand that I feel such a deep connection with.
Currently, my favorite go-to Wrangler style is the Wrancher Dress Jean. I’ve been wearing Wranglers forever and these are my most worn because they have a classic cowboy silhouette and pair perfectly with boots.
JD: What are your thoughts on the importance of supporting American apparel brands?
LB: I believe that supporting American brands is more important than ever, and it’s part of the reason I’m excited to work with the Wrangler brand. Wrangler’s mission is centered around freedom, and creating denim for those that work hard, have fun, and recognize courageous individuality. I love that Wrangler has remained true to their western heritage throughout the years and never forgotten where they came from.
JD: In your words, what is the definition of a well-dressed man?
LB: Being well-dressed is all about being confident and expressing yourself through your attire. Be true to yourself and wear what makes you feel your best, and you can’t go wrong!
JD: Talk to Forbes readers here about what makes your music and success on- trend?
LB: My music is R&B based and is all about expressing myself and taking inspiration from my own experiences, as well as those that came before me. My most recent album, Gold Diggers Sound was my most personal to date and was nominated for two Grammy Awards which is such an honor.
JD: As an entrepreneur and music talent, Talk to Forbes about the launch of the first-ever NFT for Wrangler – and your dance-move that is unique to you?
LB: I’m thrilled to announce the launch of an exclusive digital NFT that’s an exact replica of a custom denim suit Wrangler designed for me last summer. This September, the winning bidder will receive a reproduction of the outfit, as well as a digital NFT that represents ownership of the garment on the blockchain. 75 digital-only takedown versions of the NFT will also be launched this month in conjunction with Wrangler’s 75th anniversary I was even able to choreograph a dance, which was then turned into the digital NFT artwork, making it something really cool to me.https://embedly.forbes.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FqGZx-0VGXX4%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DqGZx-0VGXX4&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FqGZx-0VGXX4%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=3ce26dc7e3454db5820ba084d28b4935&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube
In compiling my review, I was fortunate enough to speak with Tom Waldron Wrangler EVP, Global Brand President about how the Wrangler brand has always been inspired by and thrived in the Wild West, and the metaverse is simply the next destination for us. We’re celebrating 75 years of history by driving towards the future of fashion.
Joseph DeAcetis: Talk to Forbes about how Wrangler intends to celebrate its 75th year anniversary?
Tom Waldron -Wrangler EVP, Global Brand President: Throughout 2022, Wrangler will roll out new partnerships with fashion brands, pop culture icons, heritage western brands, top television series and more, recognizing the brand’s cultural influence since its inception in 1947. A special emphasis will be placed on our rich music history, worn and loved through the years by the likes of Freddy Mercury, Bob Marley, George Strait and Leon Bridges to name a few. In addition to the collaborations, we have planned throughout the year, we’ll launch a limited-edition #Wrangler75 Collection and reissue several key styles from our brand archives.
JD: How will the Metaverse, NFT’s and Blockchain intermix with Wrangler in the near future?
TW: Wrangler is a brand that has always been inspired by and thrived in the Wild West, and the metaverse is simply the next destination for us. We’re celebrating 75 years of history by driving towards the future of fashion, looking across the horizon at what’s next. We can’t wait to celebrate with Leon Bridges and all our fans through this series of unexpected physical, digital and metaverse experiences. Exciting innovation is happening at the intersection where the physical meets digital and where craftsmanship meets technology. With the launch of our first NFT, Wrangler is exploring how our brand can engage with our fans in a new frontier. We will continue to explore opportunities to activate in the metaverse through an authentic representation of the brand’s past and an eye to our future.
Wrangler’s NFT has a soulful story at its heart, which is the collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Leon Bridges. The story of his discovery wearing Wrangler combined with the custom heritage Wrangler suit he designed shows his passion for Wrangler’s heritage. Wrangler has packaged this NFT project with multiple innovations: connecting physical products to the blockchain, digitally animating the suit as a piece of NFT artwork featuring a dance that Leon choreographed himself, offering utility to the community through real life exclusive access to events and finally, the Wrangler brand’s first metaverse wearables.
JD: Your thoughts on why Wrangler is one of the sought-after brands for zoomers and younger millennials?
TW: They are choosing us because we have invested in design that speaks to a younger consumer and opened up our marketing to appeal to a more youthful and global audience. We have been purposeful in our collaboration partners from brand ambassadors like Leon Bridges and Georgia May Jagger to the fun stuff like Billabong and Rick and Morty. Our latest global equity campaign, For the Ride of Life, speaks to those that live by their own rules. Those values mean just as much to us today as they did when we began our journey 75 years ago and today’s consumers are seeking out embracing that independent spirit in the modern brands that they choose to bring into their closets.
JD: Talk to Forbes about your brand awareness and expansion strategy and capsule collections being developed?
TW: For decades, Wrangler has fulfilled our promise to consumers to deliver unmatched craftsmanship, bold designs, and the timeless spirit of the frontier. To honor our 75th anniversary, we are focused on reimagining the timeless classics that have built our brand, while we also introducing authentic collaborations to welcome the next generation of Wrangler fans. You will see this come to life throughout our year-long celebration, including collaborations with Yellowstone, Billabong, Fender and Live Nation.