In the Western industry, no brand is as iconic as Wrangler. They believe in solid commitments, perseverance in the face of obstacles and challenges, and they especially respect themselves, each other, our Western heritage, and the environment in which we live. Robin Rich, Senior Brand Marketing Manager for Wrangler Western, exemplifies all that makes the brand what it is today and continues to be a driving force nearly 30 years later.
The allure of the fashion world inspired Robin to pursue a degree in fashion merchandising at the International Fine Arts College in Miami. Upon graduation, she went to work for Paul Harris Stores, a women’s specialty retail chain out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Throughout her 10 years with the company, she worked her way from Store Manager to District Manager, and eventually became the Director of Visual Marketing. The experience she gained opened the door for her at Wrangler as the company’s first-ever In-Store Marketing Manager in the early ‘90s.
In the early 2000s, Robin began working on the most notable project of her career: The Ultimate Riding Jean collection. “Through talking with friends in the riding community, I realized there was a gap in the market for flattering and functional jeans for female riders. To fill this gap, Wrangler partnered with the American Quarter Horse Association and assembled a diverse group of female riders to discuss the makings of the perfect jean for riding,” she explains. “After many focus groups and fit sessions, the women of Wrangler and the women of AQHA co-created the Ultimate Riding Jean. This jean features a no-gap waistband, comfort flat seams, and denim that won’t bag out. It truly is the ultimate jean for riding.”
There is no doubt that Wrangler has an iconic legacy, and they have dedicated their 75th anniversary to celebrating such an incredible milestone. The Western lifestyle remains a focal point in mainstream fashion and culture, and Wrangler has laid the foundation for its popularity while keeping authenticity at the forefront. Robin says she is proud to be a part of a brand that’s unwavering in its core values without being afraid to blaze new trails. “I’ve taken on numerous roles and responsibilities, always closely connected to the Western business. My current role as Senior Brand Marketing Manager for Wrangler Western is exactly where I belong–enjoying my love of the Western lifestyle and continuing to ‘ride for the brand.’”
With Wrangler being the title sponsor of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, it has allowed Robin the opportunity to work closely with some of the top athletes in the sport. “I’m inspired by their intensity, passion, and dedication to the sport of rodeo,” she praises. “Today, Wrangler is proud to outfit some amazing female rodeo athletes, including barrel racer Nellie Miller and breakaway roping champion Madison Outhier. Wrangler works to encourage the future of women in rodeo by backing these athletes.”
She continues, “With the brand’s history rooted in Western culture, female rodeo athletes have paved the way for young women worldwide. As the brand has evolved over the years, we’ve shifted our messaging to be more inclusive and highlight the exceptional women who proudly wear Wrangler, specifically in the rodeo industry.”
Robin and the Wrangler team are very important partners in the COWGIRL 30 Under 30 program, which promotes exceptional young women in the Western industry. We were honored to have Robin, an inspiration to so many young women, as our keynote speaker at the first annual Wrangler COWGIRL Empowered Gala in 2022. “I am continually impressed by the talented women in our industry. 30 Under 30 recognizes these hard-working women and allows them to gain exposure, which is invaluable in our increasingly digital world.”
As an industry leader, Robin has some very valuable pieces of advice to offer. “Follow your heart. If you love the Western lifestyle, then lean into it. The opportunities are endless. If you have passion and are not afraid to work hard, you will be successful. Doing what you love guarantees that.”
(Originally posted on November 2, 2022)