At 75 years old, Wrangler is stepping into the metaverse with an exclusive NFT and physical offering made in collaboration with Grammy award-winning artist Leon Bridges. On Tuesday, the Kontoor Brands-owned heritage brand debuted a two-part NFT drop under the name “Mr. Wrangler” that centers on a denim suit specially designed for Bridges.
To mark its milestone, Wrangler is auctioning 75 digitally animated NFTs featuring a ghost model of the suit reenacting one of Bridges’ signature dance moves. Each purchase unlocks private access to digital communities, virtual Wrangler-branded metaverse wearables and a VIP pass to an exclusive performance by Bridges at New York Fashion Week in September.
NFTs are tradable on secondary NFT marketplaces once the seven-day auction on the LTD.INC platform concludes on March 1. Collectors can visit the LTD.INC website to bid on the digitally animated NFTs, which start at $778.80.
“Fashion, technology and music influence us all, and I love the way Wrangler is interconnecting all three on this wild ride,” Bridges said in a statement. “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.”
In September, Wrangler will unveil the second tier of the NFT offering, which features a physical replica of the dark wash denim suit it designed for Bridges. In an August 2021 Instagram post, the artist showed off the custom suit, which features a zip-up denim jacket containing the words “Wrangler Jeans” written across the front in mustard yellow stitching, and jeans with vintage Wrangler branding and Blue Bell logos stitched onto the front of both legs.
Delivered in a retro-futuristic case, the suit contains a “vault of digital content” sewn into its seams, giving the buyer exclusive access to content Bridges created just for them. The accompanying one-of-one digital NFT will represent ownership on the blockchain, which will live exclusively on the LTD.INC platform.
Wrangler will continue to celebrate its anniversary throughout the year, and will host a “Wranglerverse” metaverse event in September that’s open to all.
“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,” said Tom Waldron, Wrangler global brand president. “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 [Bridges] and all our fans through this series of unexpected physical, digital and metaverse experiences.”
NFTs and a bigger presence in the metaverse are subjects of interest for many throughout fashion, as the industry looks to creative offerings for the digital-first future. Diesel is one of the first denim brands to step into the space, announcing its “Prototype” sneaker design in both physical and digital formats in December, which it said reflects both “the start of something new” and creative director Glenn Martens’ first sneaker for the brand.
Levi’s 501 jean also got the NFT treatment for the launch of the Circulose 501 Original in January. Shoppers in Europe had the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win one of 10 Levi’s 501 NFTs. The winners received an NFT certificate guarantee, offered through the popular blockchain Ethereum, linked exclusively to the new 501.