How many brands can attest to being on the market for 150 years? Not many. And it is particularly a challenge to maintain market viability in an oversaturated market where everyone from celebrities, sports figures, and every new graduate of a fashion school can place a product on the market in a short period of time.
For over 150 years Stetson has been a mainstay brand on the American market. No other fashion brand conjures up images of the American Frontier West with style, panache, and market sustainability better than Stetson. Founded in 1865 by John B. Stetson when he headed west and created the “Boss of the Plains” hat, the brand has been associated with being the purveyor of Western-style hats.
Stetson is now the largest hat maker in the world with its main factory located in Philadelphia and though Western-style hats were the products that gave the brand its market viability, Stetson has now expanded into fragrances, apparel, footwear, eyewear, belts, bourbon and a range of other products evoking the historic American West. And its fragrance ads and editorials have included Matthew McConaughey and Tom Brady.
“Stetson has been both the stuff of dreams and a household name for three centuries. We have achieved this by being a reflection of an evolving yet enduring vision of America. I feel we are caretakers of this legacy, happy to celebrate 150 years of history while working hard to maintain and broaden our identity and scope,” said Izumi Kajimoto, chief executive officer of Stetson.
During this 150-year anniversary, the 150-year product collection will run across Stetson’s various categories including hats, belt buckles, clothing, fragrance, and footwear. Under the hat category, the brand will revive archival hat styles as well as current styles, all of which will feature a commemorative pin on the band. Boots will be stamped on the sole with the 150-year insignia. New packaging will be rolled out for Stetson’s famous fragrance. A special edition coffee table book and select home goods will also be released.
Stetson’s digital push comes in the form of an interactive micro-site within the brand’s current website. The platform will allow users to experience both the rich history of Stetson as well as examine its current culture across the US. Users can view the timeline feature, which takes you from the brand’s humble Philadelphia beginnings through major moments of the 20th Century, and into today. Stetson commissioned tastemakers in 14 American cities, from Nashville to Portland to create their Stetson City Guides. The guides will take visitors into local favorites, from coffee shops to music venues, giving a taste of the modern Stetson lifestyle. The micro-site also offers videos, which show the American craftsmanship behind the brand’s most exciting offerings. Finally, the platform features a contest, giving users the chance to win a VIP concert experience.