Pendleton Woolen Mills company history
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 Oregon 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 Disneyland’s 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.