Lucky Brand is weaving a new collaboration for spring with Pendleton Woolen Mills.
On the heels of its fall tie-up with artist Nicolai Sclater, also known as Ornamental Conifer, the Los Angeles-based denim brand is offering pieces integrating the Native American-influenced wool fabric that is a signature of the 153-year-old textile firm.
The styles of Lucky Brand’s two partners couldn’t be more different. While Ornamental Conifer paints bright letters by hand, Pendleton designs geometric patterns in soothing colors that evoke nature. Moreover, the Pendleton collection retails for between $89.50 and $199, in comparison to the leather jackets painted by Ornamental Conifer that went as high as $2,000.
Kin Ying Lee, Lucky Brand’s chief creative officer, said she and her team selected a single print from Pendleton’s vast archive to make their own. Patches of yellow, orange and red triangles on a teal base peek out from under shredded holes on men’s denim and form the pockets on the back of women’s skinny jeans. The pattern also inspired the embroidery scattered on high-waisted cutoff shorts and Western shirts.
“It shows up in many different ways,” Lee said, pointing to 10 styles on display at SmogShoppe in Culver City, Calif., where the company set up a temporary showroom on Thursday that exuded a Boho vibe mixed with midcentury modernity via throw rugs, tan leather chairs and a shiny motorcycle.
Carlos Alberini, Lucky Brand’s chief executive officer, acknowledged that the company is picky when it comes to collaborators. The relationship with Pendleton originated many years before Alberini and Lee came on board. Now, Lucky Brand’s lifestyle concept store at The Point in El Segundo, Calif., stocks blankets from the privately held company in Portland, Ore.
“Everything has to start with heritage and that feel to know if it’s a match,” he said.
Lucky Brand believes in the importance of deepening relationships and mining its roots. Emphasizing the pillars of music, moto and the California lifestyle, it turned the preview of the collection tilted “The Great Escape” into a party for Kate Bosworth and other guests. Samantha Ronson and her band, Ocean Park Standoff, rocked on the stage set up near the embroidery machine that stitched blue bandanas with guests’ names in red thread.
Even the guest list reflected Lucky’s DNA. In the case of Bosworth, Lee said, there is a side to the actress that resonates with Lucky Brand. “She has a high-fashion side,” Lee said, noting her regular appearances in fashion glossies and attendance at this year’s Met Gala. “When she’s casual, she’s in denim,” she added.
Lee simply can’t forget Bosworth’s leading role in “Blue Crush,” which helped her break out in Hollywood. “She’s a surfer — think of the DNA of Lucky Brand.”