Over the last 125 years, OshKosh B’Gosh has outfitted millions of kids and multiple generations. To celebrate the major milestone, the company will release a limited-edition capsule collection with overalls and T-shirts that fit kids and adults.
While OshKosh originally launched as a source of durable overalls for adult workers in 1895, the brand has since become a children’s wear line. For a brief time in 2004, the company released adult apparel, but have not held the offering since.
Still, according to Jeff Jenkins, executive vice president of global marketing at Carters Inc. and Zia Taylor, vice president of design for OshKosh the denim lovers had been able to find the durable apparel in vintage stores if they were willing to pay a high price.
“We went back and looked at the history and the last time that we can find that we [offered adult sizes] was about 15 or 20 years ago,” Jenkins said. “What’s really interesting is we keep finding when you walk into any vintage shop and find the original adult Oshkosh overalls they are coming up for hundreds of dollars. Our ceo was in a shop [and saw that people were] paying $125 to $400 for adult overalls and some of the old baby overalls from OshKosh from years ago.”
Jenkins shared that the team felt the company’s large birthday was the perfect time to invite all generations to embrace the brand once again. “I think when we thought about 125th [anniversary] question was always ‘how do you celebrate,’” Jenkins said. “The brand has such amazing recall, and people just say when you say ‘OshKosh,’ they love it. It’s a very nostalgic brand and everyone has a picture of themselves in it as a kid. One of the things we started thinking about was this: it is a brand that started out making adult workwear. And we sort of said ‘How can we go back to the roots of the brand in a fun way?’”
The 125th anniversary capsule, he said, is a nod to the brand’s history, but at the same time, will give all the Millennials who are now parents a chance to match with their kids. The collection’s T-shirt was also born out of brand nostalgia. Anecdotally, Taylor shared that the design was actually taken from an archival shirt from the late Seventies and Eighties that she had hung in her office.
“We have a great archive in our office, it was really exciting to dig through that, read through all the details and kind of reimagine what it could be,” Taylor said. “The T-shirt I’ve actually been hanging in my office for years. And it’s kind of perfect. It’s a really nice clean throwback. And people just coming in and [saying], ‘I wish we could find that T-shirt.’”
In designing the overalls for the anniversary capsule collection, Taylor said it was important to get every detail right to incorporate both the heritage elements and the capabilities of today’s modern denim. Nodding to the history, the final design includes the classic yellow and blue logo and real metal hardware that has been a part of the overalls since 1954.
“I would say the piece that’s kind of cool and the one really modern piece is that we’ve added stretch for kids, and women, and the women’s fit,” Taylor said. “So we have stretch for kids, which makes it like perfect and just so much comfier. The wash looks incredibly authentic — it doesn’t stretch, so using that technology that’s happened in in denim development you can get it a completely authentic wash.”
The denim washes chosen, Taylor said, was through a process of looking at both the company’s full archive and what vintage-wearing influencers are wearing now.
“The fact that we’re in the midst of a global sort of pandemic and the way we thought about it is, what we’ve seen consumer trends wise is that consumers are running into the brands they trust,” Jenkins said. “And there’s not a more trusted brand name than OshKosh, and we just thought what a fun time right time to bring back every trusted American brand so that you know it’s one you trust and love, and you give some people some sort of joy during this time.”
The collection will be available in select stores and online starting Sept. 8.
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