In 1809, Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton, Oregon, began mass-producing Indian trading blankets. They studied the color and design of local and Southwest Native American designs in order to replicate them for mass use. At the end of World War II, Pendleton was the only American woolen mill still in business. Although Pendelton Woolen Mills is non-Native owned, it has a rich history of supplying amazing designs consistently throughout the years. Two hundred years after the company’s founding, Pendleton designs are more popular than ever, and a fixture of street fashion.
There are few items as versatile as a denim jacket. When you add a Pendleton yoke to it, you get that fantastic fusion of fashion and function. While this jacket could look very much at home on any hipster throughout Turtle Island, it could also look real fine on a rancher doing his thing out in the wild. I could just see John Eagle (Glen Gould) from the Showcase series Cashing In rocking one of these while riding his steed. The design is a tribute to the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, to honor their efforts with the Deschutes river restoration.
Photo Credit: Hypebeast.com
Jam on It
Last month at the Gathering of Nations, you would have been hard pressed to walk for more than 5 minutes in the Indian Traders Market without finding someone clutching a Vans shoebox. To say that the Pendleton Vans were a hot item would be a gross understatement. Peeps from all over Indian Country are buying them, and every purchase supports the Native non-profit organization Nibwaakaawin, the organizer behind the All Nations Skate Project, so you can feel positively wholesome about this hot addition to your sneaker collection.
Photo Credits: OffTheWallSite.net
Yo Quiero Esquiro
Another booth at Gathering of Nations that attracted a lot of attention was that of Vancouver-based, Dene fashion designer Sho Sho Esquiro. Her unique designs usually combine Pendleton with a contemporary, urban twist. I particularly love the half-corset shown above that’s combined with an ostrich embossed leather. She also delves into men’s fashions with oversized hoodies, perfect for that Native rapper fresh to the scene. Custom orders are her thing, so be sure to connect with her for more deets. E-mail Esquiro_deisgnz@hotmail.com.
ICTMN style maven Lisa Charleyboy is Urban Native Girl.