Billabong and Wrangler® are pleased to announce the launch of their first-ever collaboration – the Billabong x Wrangler Collection – which celebrates the best of both brands and the exciting result achieved when you put a western spin on vintage surf. The Billabong x Wrangler Collection’s first installment launched in anticipation of back-to-school season, with a second fall-inspired installment in September 2021.
For decades, both Billabong and Wrangler have been committed to making products you want to live in forever. The parallels between surf and western culture, along with the origin stories of the brands, make this unexpected partnership a perfect fit. Billabong founder Gordon Merchant’s favorite pair of Wrangler jeans influenced the fit for the first pair of Billabong boardshorts, which were created as a new offering at a time when boardshorts were stiff, abrasive and uncomfortable.
This collection – made with eco-conscious materials, including recycled P.E.T., organic cotton and hemp – is a nod to that origin story, while taking cues from the Wrangler brand’s own unique history and its deep connection to cowboy and rodeo culture.
“Whether you’re passionate about riding in the rodeo arena or riding a wave, a shared love for the outdoors can connect us all,” said Holly Wheeler, vice president of global brand marketing at Wrangler. “As we continue to offer new apparel through meaningful collaborations, it’s great to work with a brand like Billabong that aligns with our values and was inspired by our product from the very beginning. The result of our brands authentically coming together is a truly unique, sustainable collection that sits at the intersection of surf and western.”
“Wrangler denim has always been synonymous with timeless craftsmanship and quality and we were really fortunate to work intimately with the team there,” said Brad Lancaster, vice president, Men’s Creative, Billabong. “We’re also feeling really good about the materials we used to create this collection. End to end it’s a sustainable line, using recycled PETs, hemp and organic cottons and recycled materials for the trims – a first for Billabong, and certainly a step in the right direction for the planet.”
There are more than 40 styles in the Men’s collection. A highlight of the collection includes the Icons boardshort, a bold-colored, interchange boardshort that pays homage to the original boardshort style and soul from the ’70s.
The women’s offering is equally robust, with a wide array of styles, materials and silhouettes. The first release is a collection laced with the spirit of the ’70s and country soul, where shoreline tropicals meet western-spun surf graphics and under-the-sun accessories. The second release draws from Wrangler’s primary palette of vibrant retro hues, with a thoughtful assortment of fresh-spun range jackets, denim, fleece and high-waisted cords to face the onset of a changing season.
“Both of our teams are intrigued and enamored with the cultures we live in, so it was a true pleasure and honor to celebrate the collision of two distinct worlds in a modern take on our early years,” says Billabong Women’s Creative Director Allison Roberts. “Just as a denim designer obsesses on creating the most functional and comfortable jeans for riding, we as a surf brand obsess on making the best product for life in and around the ocean. The result is a beautiful intersection of well-worn workwear, forever denim pieces, country surf and timeless bikinis.”
To bring the collection to life, Billabong tapped into the spirit of the Wrangler-inspired Billabong origin story with some of the surf brand’s most recognizable faces of today. Shot in and around the idyllic pointbreaks of Northern New South Wales, Australia, the campaign celebrates a free-and-easy era when function and fashion were one and the same. The premium design collaboration with Wrangler comes through Billabong LAB, a platform that supports artists, musicians, designers and photographers.