Oct 19, 2017 | By Lourdes Linares
Get more Denim insights as a WGSN subscriber
Mar 03, 2017
When people talk about “the 60s” in San Francisco, they’re talking about a period from January 1967 to December 1969 — just three short years that would nonetheless forever reshape the population of the city and our image in the eyes of the rest of the world. The Summer of ’67 became a defining moment of the 1960s as the San Francisco counterculture movement came into public awareness. A generation was emerging that was suspicious of the government, rejecting the conformist values of Cold War America and demanding cultural and social change.
Human Be-In in the Golden Gate Park on January 14, 1967, became one of the main epicentres of hippiedom, and arguably its spiritual heart, serving as the birthplace of multiple bands that would go on to shape the music of the era, and draw crowds at another defining event of the 60s, Woodstock.
These movements inspired the formation of psychedlic groups all over America and the world with debut music from the likes of The Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Velvet Underground as well as artists like Alan Aldridge, Victor Moscosco and John Van Hamersveld who provided weird and wonderful artwork to compliment these new trippy sounds.
One artist who truly made his mark on the era was Peter Max. Known for his dazzling variety of brightly coloured drawings, paintings and kaleidoscopic colour-combinations, Max’s dreamlike landscapes, pulsating graphics and world-famous posters defined pop culture through his art at a time when the Beatles were changing the world’s outlook with their music. Max synthesized the “Summer of Love” into artworks from canvas to mugs, clocks, scarves, clothes, and cruise ships that made him an instant household name across the globe.
Max’s collaboration with Wrangler in the early 1970s was one of the artists most sought-after merchandise at the time. The collection featured a range of boldly colourful, upbeat pieces like jeans, shorts, western shirts and jackets, printed sweats and Ts, all with packaging and tags in artists signature style graphics.
2017 not only marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, but also Wranglers 70th anniversary. So in celebration the brand has teamed up once again with Peter Max with a special premium collection that pays tribute to the original collaboration.
According to Wrangler’s Creative Director, Sean Gormley, the new, all European-made line – for both men and women – has the same splash of high energy with archive-inspired jeanswear, but with modern fits for a new generation of hippies and denim rebels. Gormley explained that the collection, split into a Summer and Fall delivery will introduces new jean fits: for men, a tapered version of the 11MWZ, a Wrangler classic, and for women a high-waisted, hip-hugging straight cut. Jackets are boxy and cut short, shorts gently flared. Staying true to Wrangler’s seven icons, Gormley and the team have included details like vintage patch, pocket branding and seven belt loops, each highlighted by the use of white stitching.
The Summer delivery, in May, is characterised by two stories: a mixing of different denims in the same garment and a mixing of different panels of variously coloured cloths. Key colours in Summer include vibrant, pop shades of red, peach, green, blue and sand, all worked onto a range of jeans, shorts, western shirts and jackets, printed sweats and Ts. Each element of each labour-intensive piece is necessarily separately cut, washed, dyed and then assembled.
The Fall delivery, in August, sees a continuation of denim mixing and colour mixing, but in corduroy fabric and a winter palette. In Fall they also have a third story – combining selvedge denim and indigo herringbone with hickory striped cloth and corduroy. This collection explores a more wintery colour range of navy, burgundy, tobacco and off-white. All pieces in both deliveries are lined in a fun digital print of Max’s ‘Flower Runner’ or ‘Smile’ graphic and feature packaging that is a direct replica of the 70s original. Check out this exclusive images from the collection here and keep your eyes peeled to Wrangler.com for more.
Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.