Hardcore fans of Pendleton Woolen Millshave been singing the iconic American brand's praises for its rich history and life-time quality. For over 150 years, Pendleton has been known for incorporating 100-percent pure virgin wool fabrics into their Native American inspired designs. The Portland Collection was introduced in 2011 as a fresh, young take on the legacy and draws on the brand's Northwest heritage.
Pendleton recently launched their first ever Spring/Summer 2014 line at FashioNXT, Portland’s premier four-day runway show. Pendleton brought authenticity to the catwalk, especially with their The Portland Collection line, by incorporating fabrics like fitted cotton blends, silks, and layaway wools.
I spoke with Pendleton’s Chief Creative Officer about former Project Runway winner of Season 8, Gretchen Jones—who has recently joined Pendleton’s design team—and what we can expect from both the Pendleton and The Portland Collection in 2014.
Q: What is Gretchen Jones’s role with Pendleton and how long has she been working with you?
We hired Gretchen about a month ago and she’ll be one of the members of the apparel design team. Gretchen will be helping design for all three of our lines including Pendleton, The Portland Collection, and the Thomas Kay collections.
Having come from New York, Gretchen brings such a unique and strong experience. She has a beautiful lens, and we hope to take full advantage. We’re so excited to have her bring great and fresh experiences to our team, as well as new insights on how we interpret fashion appropriately for the market consumer.
Q: Can you give us a peak into The Portland Collection’s fall 2014 line?
It’s difficult to say right now, but our new direction for The Portland Collection is still in the works and we’ll continue to position that brand in the contemporary market place. We are still fleshing out the details. With that said, our spring collection has been so well received and it’s been appealing to different customers in very different ways. People are excited about the materials like the introduction of silk from our fall line, which we carried over into spring.
Q: Can you give us a peak into what’s to come for The Portland Collection?
I can’t give too much away, but our fall assortment looks fantastic and we’re doing interesting things with double-faced fabrics and, of course, wools straight out of our mill. We’re currently launching a men’s line and the collection is surf-inspired, which makes our spring-wear line relevant for that time of year.