Wrangler Jeans is started in 1947 as the first denim brand focused on cowboys. The company behind the Wrangler brand first produced denim workwear under the Blue Bell name. The Wrangler brand became one of the major denim players next to Levi’s and Lee Jeans. The Wrangler brand is also known as one of the Big 3. The Wrangler name was chosen as in North America a wrangler is someone who works with horses proffesionally. Their name is a perfect link to the growing Western community in that time. 

Important Wrangler Jeans facts;

  • 1947: The first pair of Wrangler Jeans was launched known as 11MW (Mens Wear), made of 11oz. denim.
  • 1948: The first edition jacket, 11MJ (Mens Jacket), was produced in 11oz. denim. The 11MJ jacket had a button closure which they changed into a zipper in the early ’50’s.
  • 1948: The WW backpocket stitching was introduced which stands for Western Wear.
  • 1949: The first Wrangler ladies jeans was introduced.
  • 1951: The second edtion of Wrangler Jeans jacket was introduced 8MZ (Mens Zipper). The jacket was made in 8oz. denim. This jacket has only one breast pocket instead on two pockets as the 11MJ jacket.
  • 1962: Blue Bell opens a factory in Belgium and the Wrangler brand name enjoys a successful launch in Europe too.
  • 1964: Wrangler invented the ‘broken twill’ fabric. This fabric was softer, but most important it stopped jeans from leg twisting.
  • 1996: One of every five pairs of jeans sold in America is a Wrangler jeans.
  • 2005: Wrangler’s last U.S. sewing plant is closed.

Old Wrangler Jeans advertising.

Old Wrangler Jeans commercials.

Wrangler Jeans 70th Anniversary

This year the Wranlger Jeans brand is celebrating their 70th anniversary. Its already 70 years ago that they entered the market with their first cowboys pant. For the celebration they dived into their large archive which was the inspiration for the new Spring Summer 2017 collection called Retro Glory. The Retro Glory collection contains rainbow graphic t-shirts, retro striped cropped flared jeans and cut-off shorts  for women. The men’s collection includes rainbow graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts, western shirts, embroidered denim jacket, slim tapered fit jeans with rips and repairs.

Later this season Wrangler is also launching their very special collaboration with artist Peter Max. Peter Max also collaborated with the brand in the early ’70’s. More about this later. Enjoy the 70 years anniversary lookbook from Wrangler Jeans. Congrats Wrangler!


Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.