Pendleton, a century-old brand steeped in Americana, is stepping out with a new line called Pendleton, The Portland Collection, for the bridge market. It will be unveiled in January for fall 2011 selling.
“This is a new strategy with a new consumer in mind,” Mort Bishop 3rd, president, Pendleton Woolen Mills, told WWD. “It’s more progressive in fashion. The fit is trimmer, for a younger customer — and it’s made in America.”
Perennial pleated skirts, wool plaids and Western wear are the heart of Pendleton, but The Portland Collection will have a designer feel, an urban sensibility and a versatility factor, Bishop said.
Pendleton hired three young designers, Nathaniel Crissman, Rachel Turk and John Blasioli, to create the line. They are all from Portland, Ore., where Pendleton is based. Crissman and Turk are the founders of the Church & State fashion label. Blasioli created stage outfits for the The Decemberists band before launching a men’s wear line, A Broken Spoke, which was shut to later launch an eponymous line.
However, The Portland Collection is not a complete departure from the Pendleton tradition. “We looked to classic Pendleton fabrics as the foundation for the collection,” Crissman said. “The archives served as a great inspiration, allowing us to tap into Pendleton’s heritage while bringing our point of view to the brand,” which he described as “contemporary, with an independent design spirit and a bit of irreverence.” He also said the collection will be made in the U.S., sticking to a Pendleton tradition.
“We tried to create pieces that you can wear to work and into the evening,” Crissman said. “For example, there’s one dress that’s sophisticated, with a detachable shearling collar. It might be too dramatic to wear at work, but you can take it off and put it back on at night to make a statement.”
The range includes dresses, priced around $200; outerwear such as $700 reversible jacquard coats as well as Toboggan coats, shirts in the $200 range, and ties at $78. There are also pants, dresses, knitwear, ponchos and accessories, such as shoulder bags.
Bishop hopes The Portland Collection captures interest from stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys Co-op, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. True Collaborative Fashion will represent Pendleton in marketing the line to retailers. The collection will also be at trade shows, and will stage a preview show in January at New York’s Ace Hotel.
The company has leveraged its heritage in recent collaborations with Nike, Vans, Hurley, Opening Ceremony, Timberland and Comme des Garçons to modernize the Pendleton image and capitalize on a recent resurgence of interest in the brand. “There’s a whole new generation of consumers, 25 to 45, drawn to the authenticity of Pendleton. There’s also a lot of interest from Japan’s fashion underground in American heritage brands,’’ said Bishop. “We don’t want to be on the sidelines. We want to do something, given this unusual opportunity.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast