Pendleton Woolen Mills has been an iconic brand in Oregon for more than 100 years. Recently, the company expanded into the world of high fashion, collaborating with Manhattan label Opening Ceremony in 2010. It wasn’t long before celebrities were spotted wearing Pendleton coats and retailer Urban Outfitters came out with a Pendleton line. Pendleton had fashion blogs buzzing when the company announced its Portland Collection earlier this year.
The collection, which comes out this fall, is the brainchild of designers Nathaniel Crissman and Rachel Turk of the small Portland label Church & State, along with designer and Decemberist stylist John Blasioli. The three, young Portlanders worked with Pendleton Woolen Mills president Mort Bishop to create the new line of clothes for men and women. The high-end garments include sweaters, shirts, bags, coats and ties inspired by the traditional Native American textiles Pendleton has been making for decades. The company appears to be tapping in to a fashion trend. Not everyone is embracing the idea, though, and some go so far as to call it cultural appropriation.
Have you noticed Pendleton prints popping up in unexpected places? Do you buy clothes from Pendleton Woolen Mills? Do you see yourself as part of a fashion trend, ahead of the curve or just comfortable in your favorite sweater or wool blanket?
- Marjorie Skinner: Managing editor for the Portland Mercury, author of “Sold Out” column and MOD blog
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OPB | Sept. 22, 2016