Before there was Air Jordan, there was Air Wright Brothers. They just didn’t have a logo until now.
In 2012, The Wright Brothers Family Foundation, which is overseen by the Brothers’ Great grandniece, Amanda Wright-Lane, and Great grandnephew, Stephen Wright, awarded The Wright Brothers USA, LLC (TWBUSA) exclusive rights to license the trademark globally. Some early licensing successes included limited edition watches and bicycles by Shinola (2013-2014) and luxury limited edition watches by Bremont Watch Company, the design of which incorporated in each timepiece a small sample of fabric from the original 1903 Wright Flyer that first flew at Kitty Hawk.
On May 5th, The Wright Brothers Worldwide, LLC (TWBW), a wholly owned subsidiary of TWBUSA, held a sneak preview in Dayton prior to the launch of its own line of aviation-themed products. The event was held to build buzz in advance of the brand’s May 25th launch of its online store (TheWrightBrothersStore.com). The site will serve as the only retail channel for the core initial product line of flight jackets, aviator sunglasses, t-shirts and hats, and a variety of travel bags and briefcases. All carry the new The Wright Brothers mark, including a distinctive bi-wing logo, its design clearly inspired by the Brothers’ pioneering Flyer aircraft.
The company selected the new Carillon Brewery Co. at Dayton History’s Carillon Historical Park as the site for the sneak preview. “What a great venue with the backdrop of Dayton’s inventive past heralding a new global brand,” said CEO Dave Lightle of the popular museum complex. “It’s all the more special that on display just around the corner from the brewery is the 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane.”
TWBW is positioning the brand the first complete line of aviation products, using the advertising slogan, “Now, the first name in aviation is the first name in aviation fashion.” Company strategy includes all products not only being sourced in the USA, but sharing with customers who those suppliers are. “We wanted to highlight our made-in-the-U.S.A. suppliers because we are proud to have them as partners,” explained Co-founder and President Kenneth Botts. Botts pointed out that the line of flight jackets is produced by Remy Leather of Los Angeles, California, the travel bags by Korchmar in Naples, Florida, and the aviator sunglasses by Randolph Engineering of the Boston area.
According to the company’s press release, “The Wright Brothers brand evokes the notion that we are all masters of our own identities. Tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that brought the Wright Brothers world fame, you can create your own image, and even ‘Invent yourself.’ as the tagline encourages you to do. In addition, think of it as the new ‘Aviation Cool’ combined with the style and grace of the brothers that brought us aviation in the first place. The brand is as inspirational as it is aspirational.”
Products are mostly on the high end, price-point and quality-wise, at least initially. However, there are the requisite branded baseball hats and t-shirts, and future TWBW plans include the introduction of watches, pilot journals and other personal use items for aviators. A line of city bikes that harkens back to the Wright Brothers’ bicycle business is also in the works. They are only available through the TWBW website.