Wrangler is focusing on its core denim products and leaving its lifestyle image behind, as new president of VF Jeanswear International Giorgio Presca explains in an exclusive interview with Sportswear International at BBB. Interview: Barbara Stockinger.

SI: With the organization of music events and focus on outfits in its collections Wrangler seems to stress its lifestyle image. Is this the direction where the brand wants to go in the future?
Giorgio Presca: Everybody tells you about lifestyle. This is not what Wrangler wants to be. The brand is based on two pillars: denim, which is our core, and our long history of 60 years. The identity of the brand is not the dusty Western look any more, but the core value lies in denim. We'll invest to make denim more and more innovative and unique.

SI: How is this being realized in your campaign and for S/S 09?
GP: “We are animals” is the slogan of the new campaign. It is set in a natural environment, the models come out of the water or hide in the forest. And again you can see that the true sense of denim stands in the focus, combined with a rugged outdoor feel. There are three strong themes in S/S 09. The first one is “The Wild One,” inspired by the rodeo and horse, newly interpreted with a modern motorbike or motocross style. It consists of denim styles with motorbike stitching, heavy treatments and pink, black and blue denim. The second delivery, “Off Duty,” is workwear-inspired with a cleaner look and more functional. The third one is “Flag,” which is about freedom, the ’70s in the US, with light washes and colors and the American flag re-interpreted.

SI: For several seasons Wrangler has been focusing ever more on the women’s collection. Will this continue?
GP: Wrangler will always stay a masculine-focused brand. But of course we always want to address both genders. The campaign shows both boys’ and girls’ styles and we have a lot of very feminine styles in the collection. Our head of design Alessandro Viganò, who before worked for Napapijri and D&G, creates both lines. He lives the brand; he is a real animal! (Laughs.)

SI: What is going to happen retail-wise with the brand?
GP: This September we will open our showroom in the Ticinese area in Milan (Ludovico il Moro; editor’s note). But for us, the most important thing is how to serve the trade best, to be able to understand the retailer and give him the support, from the services to the shop window to show the brand in its entirety.

SI: It seems your footwear line is even more important and you improved a lot of the styles.
GP: I am glad you like it. Indeed, we recently worked with a new company that produces the shoes. It is called Bido of Luigi de Lazzer.

SI: What are the most important markets for Wrangler at the moment?
GP: Germany is currently our strongest market in Europe and we also have a strong presence in the UK, Benelux and Scandinavia. The other key Western European denim markets are Italy, France and Spain; they are a big focus for growth, as are the expanding markets in Russia and other Eastern European countries.

About Giorgio Presca:

Giorgio Presca joined VF Jeanswear International as president in 2007. Based in Bornem, Belgium, Presca, 44, is responsible for overseeing the continued growth of VF’s Jeanswear brands (including Wrangler and Lee) across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.