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Pendleton launches Portland collection

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Articles - September 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Classic red plaid is part of the new Portland Collection by Pendleton Woolen Mills. 
Photo courtesy of Chris Hornbecker/Pendleton

Portland is the city so cool people want to wrap themselves up in it. Now they can. Pendleton Woolen Mills launches its Portland Collection in September. The Oregon business is steeped in tradition and rich in heritage but for decades their clothes missed the mark with fashion-conscious consumers.


Several apparel makers including Adidas, Levi’s, Nike and Opening Ceremony approached Pendleton in recent years to collaborate on youthful limited-edition collections. Those efforts inspired editorials in top fashion magazines and captured the imagination and pocketbooks of the young and stylish.

“We recognized that if this young consumer looked at our own line, it was more traditional,” says Mort Bishop III, president of Pendleton Woolen Mills.

And by traditional he means what many might call dirt dull.

Pendleton figured it was time to do its own hipster collection. And, glory be to fashion, they did it right. Pendleton brought in some of Portland’s best indie designers with John Blasioli, who had a little menswear label called A Broken Spoke, and Rachel Turk and Nathaniel Crissman, the duo behind the Church & State line.

They’ve taken all that is good about Pendleton and brought it into this century without losing the authenticity of the brand that makes it a classic. That’s not an easy achievement in the fickle world of fashion.

The collection has been picked up by Saks Fifth Avenue, Anthropologie and several Portland stores including Adorn, Blake, Frances May and Pin Me. The great product placement is due in part to the Oregon sales team of True Collaborative Fashion.

The Portland Collection hits the runway Sept. 8 at the Fashion Night Out show in Director’s Park, and opens Portland Fashion Week in October. And unlike the Pendleton shirts deconstructed — and then reconstructed — by Comme des Garçons that retail for about $1,600, the Portland Collection will be more affordable. Shirts run about $180 and a coat up to $850.

Now PDX fans can take Portland with them everywhere they go.

Vivian McInerny


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