Pendleton Woolen Mills company history

Pendleton Woolen Mills company history
The Beach Boys sport matching blue plaid Pendleton shirts on the cover of their "Surfer Girl" album. (Pendleton Woolen Mills)

From the first celebrity customer — Apache leader Geronimo — to the recent collaboration with high-end boutique Opening Ceremony, which introduced the brand to the fashion crowd, here are a few key moments in the 102-year history of Pendleton Woolen Mills:

1909 | Bishop family opens a mill in


frontier town of Pendleton, specializing in weaving Jacquard design Indian blankets.


Early 1900s | First celebrity customer Geronimo poses wearing a Pendleton robe (blanket). The company tradition of creating individual blanket designs for American Indian tribes continues to the present day.

1932 | Company provides 4,000 blankets for participants at

Olympic Games

held in Los Angeles.


1953 |

Lucille Ball

is outfitted in a Pendleton '49er jacket for an ill-fated foray into the wild in "The Camping Trip" episode of TV's

"I Love Lucy"

1955 | Pendleton is a founding tenant in


Frontierland. The store introduces the brand to America's new consumer class.

1963 |

Beach Boys

sport matching blue plaid Pendleton shirts on the cover of their "Surfer Girl" album. Now called the "board shirt," the style is still a bestseller.

1980s |

Cheryl Tiegs

models for the brand; Pendleton opens its own retail stores.

1998 | Joel and

Ethan Coen

's film "The Big Lebowski" turns Pendleton's "Dude Cardigan" into a cult item.

2008 | A new era of brand collaboration begins with Vans.

Justin Timberlake

is photographed wearing the plaid wool slip-on shoes.

2009 | Opening Ceremony boutique owners design avant-garde collection using Pendleton fabric and introduce the brand to the fashion crowd.

2011 | Portland Collection debuts with clothing and accessories aimed at the contemporary customer.