From launching a single leather jacket 20 years ago, Aqua has evolved into Bloomingdale’s bestselling private brand with ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, footwear, jewelry, active, swim and girls.
Today Aqua takes another step forward by introducing Aqua x Pendleton, a limited-edition collection that blends interpretations of Pendleton’s signature Western-inspired colorful patterns with Aqua’s contemporary style and modern silhouettes.
Aqua x Pendleton includes reversible coats, jackets, knitwear separates, belted cardigans and dresses, nine styles in all, and is being sold at all Bloomingdale’s stores and on bloomingdales.com.
“It’s two American fashion institutions coming together to create a perfect limited-edition collection to embrace the fall and winter season,” Denise Magid, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for rtw, center core, concessions and Bloomingdale’s Outlets, told WWD. “Pendleton has always been a brand that has inspired us. It’s about American style, heritage, craftsmanship and authenticity.”
With Pendleton, Aqua extends its run of collaborations in past seasons with cultural figures, celebrities, designers and brands, among them Scout the City with Sai De Silva, Mary Katrantzou, Zendaya, Helen Owen, Mary Lawless Lee, Yigal Azrouel, Maddie & Tae, Zadig & Voltaire and Madeleine Thompson.
Bloomingdale’s could have done an exclusive collection with Pendleton, but collaborating with the Aqua brand, as Magid said, “allows us to combine what’s great about both brands, and offer something new and unexpected that really takes into account the DNA of both brands. It’s about offering something different, something with a unique twist to it.” When seeking partners to collaborate with, “Our goal is just to offer something exciting and unique with a strong point of view.”
“With Aqua, Bloomingdale’s manages to hit the trends and pick out things to go after, and they’ve done a great job extending the business into shoes, handbags, kids and other areas,” said one source familiar with Aqua. “It’s also well priced and has a cross-generational appeal.”
The source estimated that Aqua has grown to generate north of $50 million in sales annually, though Bloomingdale’s would not confirm that figure.
Aqua was established, as Magid said, “as an opportunity to introduce an opening price point in the contemporary space.” Aqua x Pendleton items are priced from $68 to $198.
Aqua began to expand in 2005, when select fashion accessories were introduced followed by girls, jewelry, handbags and shoes. Swim and activewear were added in 2018, and Aqua recently launched into pet wear with knits and prints. “We are constantly looking at new categories,” Magid said. “We are exploring things like gifts and intimate apparel.”
“Between the color and scale variations along with the contemporary silhouettes, the Aqua collection is a striking take on Pendleton’s iconic patterns,” said Peter Bishop, executive vice president of merchandising and design at Pendleton Woolen Mills. Pendleton is a family-owned company established in 1863 and headquartered in Portland, Ore.
The Aqua x Pendleton collaboration adapts two signature Pendleton patterns, Pilot Rock and Wyeth Trail, by adjusting scale and introducing new color schemes for the fall season. Among the items in the collection are the reversible Pilot Rock Coat, priced $188, in a quilted sherpa design; hooded puffer coats, $198; a quilted cropped jacket,$148; jacquard belted cardigans, $148; French terry hooded sweatshirts, $88; smocked dresses, $98, and a matching V-neck blouse and smocked skirt, each $68.
Other private labels at Bloomingdale’s include Bloomies, C by Bloomingdale’s and The Men’s Store at Bloomingdale’s.