Fender to introduce more signature models for female artists in 2020 than ever before

Courtney Barnett playing a custom Fender Jaguar based on the modified Kurt Cobain model (Image credit: Joseph Okpako / Getty)

Fender's current roster of signature artists is currently dominated by males but in 2020 that is set to change, according to the company's CEO Andy Mooney.

Our friends at Guitar World asked Mooney how Fender is reaching out and recognising female guitar players, especially considering its claim in 2018 that half of all new guitar players are female.  

“That was a big ‘aha’ for us when we did the first research,” Mooney told Guitar World.

"45% of the guitars we sell every year go to first-time players, and half of those first-time players were women. That was a shocker.

“But part of why I think we didn't realize it and didn't have visibility to it was: a) women were opting more often to buy an acoustic guitar than an electric guitar for the first guitar, and b) they were more likely to buy online than in a traditional store. And I think we'd all agree that guitar stores can be intimidating venues for any beginner player. And even more so, I think, for women because of lack of female sales associates.

“So that insight fundamentally changed what we did in artist relations. And then product development from the point of view of developing signature guitars: we’ll introduce more signature guitars for female artists next year than we've done in our entire 70-year history in a very broad range of genres and personalities. So we're pretty excited."

Fender Jaguar player Samantha Fish 

Fender Jaguar player Samantha Fish  (Image credit: Erika Goldring / Getty)

This is welcome news indeed when you consider the few Fender signature guitars for female artists released over the years. These include the Bonnie Raitt Stratocaster, Avril Lavigne Squier Telecaster and Newporter acoustic. The Mary Kaye Stratocaster is the first custom Strat ever produced, rather than a signature model.

Guitar World has drawn up an impressive list of candidates who could inspire some great signature models next year and we'd love to see at least a few surface in 2020 at January's NAMM show:

Samantha Fish Jazzmaster

Susan Tedeschi Stratocaster

Anna Calvi Telecaster

Courtney Barnett Jaguar/Telecaster

Ana Popovic Stratocaster

Malina Moye Stratocaster

Lindsey Jordan (aka Snail Mail) Jaguar

Gina Gleason Telecaster

Melanie Faye Stratocaster

Emily Kokal Jaguar

Theresa Wayman Mustang

Ellie Rowsell Telecaster

Emma Ruth Rundle Baritone Jaguar

Sarah Lipstate Jazzmaster

Carrie Brownstein Thinline Telecaster

Marnie Stern Jazzmaster

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.