Billabong and Wrangler are releasing the first chapter of an unexpected collaboration. Mixing the western aesthetic of the American jeans brand with the surf culture of the Australian board sports label might not seem like the most obvious link-up, but the two companies have faced the challenges of the collaboration head on, signing off on a consistent collection made using sustainable materials.
“Wrangler was Billabong founder Gordon Merchant’s favorite brand of jeans. It influenced the cut of the first Billabong boardshorts, which revolutionized a market that, at the time, offered shorts that were stiff, itchy and uncomfortable,” explains Christelle Kipping, European head of marketing for womenswear at Billabong. “In the early 70s, somewhere along the Gold Coast, Gordon Merchant decided to create a tough boardie.
His mission led him to deconstruct his favorite jeans. Just like a denim manufacturer adapts to the needs of cowboys and cowgirls so as to allow them to ride in a pair of resistant jeans, we, as surf specialists, come up with pieces that support surfers as they take on the biggest waves.” The first part of the collection is made up of some 40 menswear pieces, including a number of boardshorts inspired by the styles and prints of the 70s.