Collaborations have become a rite of passage in the fashion world, but on occasion, well-known brands come together to not only create something fresh but do good. That's the case with Costa Mesa-based Hurley's new collection with Pendleton Woolen Mills and the U.S. National Park Service.
"If you want to be a brand nowadays, you have to do something. It's not about just making stuff and making money," said Hurley's creative director Ryan Hurley, son of the company's founder, Bob Hurley. "We like to connect with greater causes, and this cause happens to be really strong. The national parks are some of the most beautiful places on earth."
The collection of men's and women's pieces includes four mini capsule collections, each paying homage to a specific park — Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and Yosemite — using a signature Pendleton pattern. The different groupings include multicolored, striped board shorts, tanks, tees, swimsuits, hats and blankets.
Each park's collection boasts its own print and dominant color. The Glacier National Park pieces are predominantly white, the Grand Canyon ones are navy, Yosemite is light blue and Yellowstone is, well, yellow. The pieces also feature special emblems created for the collaboration. (Prices range from $35 to $75.)
This isn't the first time Hurley has collaborated with the Portland, Ore.-based Pendleton or the first time Pendleton has worked on a project related to the national parks, but it is the first time all three have come together.
"It's really about supporting the national parks and bringing awareness to the fact that they are a beautiful resource this country has," Hurley said. "They are one of a handful of places in the world that are still untouched. We love getting outside and being active. So we want to encourage people to do the same and protect these resources."
The collaboration comes on the heels of Hurley, a brand Nike has owned since 2002, resurrecting its women's line, a decision spurred by the belief that the brand could finally infuse the collection with the same quality and innovation as its men's line.
"We have a strong point of view on innovation and the future and how to blend performance and style, and it didn't feel like we were doing that with our women's business," Hurley said. "We have two amazing female athletes on the world tour of surfing, Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson, and they drove a lot of the innovation in the relaunch of the swimwear. That gave us a position to build on."
This innovation can be seen firsthand in the National Parks Collection, and so can Hurley's dedication to honoring the outdoors-focused lifestyle the brand was built upon. "These are [the] types of things I love being part of because they're fun projects that happen to have a good side effect," Hurley said. "We [at Hurley] have gone through a few different identities. When you grow and change and the market changes, your brand changes. Right now, we are getting really sharp on being who we believe in, sharing that with people and empowering the next generation."