PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS

SPRING 18, SPRING 19

ROLE

Creative Director Womenswear

CATEGORY

Fashion, Women's Wear, Sportswear

There is no way to live in Portland, Oregon, and not fall in love with this family-owned, local brand. Pendleton has been weaving genuine merino fabrics for generations and to this day still accounts for three-quarters of all US-based wool weaving manufacturing.

 

I do not exaggerate when I say that a dream came true when I got the opportunity to help them correct the trajectory the womenswear business had been on for over a decade.

 

Pendleton womenswear had a strong business in the 50s and 60s with major icon status when specifically the 49er jacket was a must-have in every woman's wardrobe. In an interview, Martha Steward admitted she couldn't afford the 49er, but she had to have one and so - as Martha does - just sewed one using Pendleton fabric. Pendleton is utterly committed to their customers. Which brings its own set of challenges especially when you are about to celebrate 70 years of womenswear.

 

Not only was design 2 months behind on our calendar when I arrived, we also had to shift our target consumer to the new age group of 35 - 55. Obviously, that's quite broad and while I saw the potential for serious 'cool' factor, underscored by a plethora of past and present collabs, we had to shift carefully not to upset the more traditional customer and leadership base. 

 

We were working on 4 deliveries and two separate merchandising stories, one casual with a hint of outdoor, the other classic with a new contemporary twist.

 

Therefore, the line is quite large and covered a lot of basics, but I brought in some easy storytelling by utilizing a new and very typical jacquard design, the Falcon Cove, that was initiated by the Home (Blanket) Division and using it in two silhouettes: A bomber with contrast color trims to the exterior (gasp!) and a modern coat with overcut shoulders. 

 

But to make the offering stronger, and allow for more accessible price points, we used more simplified motives inspired by the same jacquard on a group of lightweight merino knitwear pieces and a printed version on a Tencel button-up shirt and cropped top.

PENDLETON WOOLEN MILLS

FALL/HOLIDAY 18 & 19

We managed to get caught up with our Spring timelines and were able to start the Fall season on time. None the less, we were faced with another big, fat operational challenge - to launch the women's Fall offering at the same time as the menswear and home divisions. While it made a lot of business sense, it also meant to cut our development timelines by three months total. So, we were off to the races again.

 

We worked on some big initiatives:

  1. Create silhouettes that were wearable in multiple occasions, to the office, on a trip and on the weekends. Dress up or down was the motto. I also pushed to create less structured and overworked (too many seams) garments to create a beautiful canvas for all jacquard silhouettes.

  2. Own the Blazer. Workwear used to be the biggest category for Pendleton but it had gotten very formulaic and old - we used the Fall season to set up a workwear initiative for the FA19 season.

  3. Capitalize on Sweaters. Sweaters have been and still is the biggest volume driver for Pendleton womenswear (shout out to Lindsay Elbon and Amy Wildshut who work jointly on that category)

  4. Grow the Shirt Category. But instead of just expanding the paid offering, we wanted to make sure to have diversified silhouettes and really use the whole breadth of material we had available.

 

This season, I was able to start out with the fundamentals by creating a women's design ethos grounded in Pendleton's heritage and iconic design language and a creative direction that span all 6 deliveries.

 

In addition, we created an overarching color palette that allowed for distinct monthly color stories all while coordinating across the entire season. We continued our work on creating visual stories within each delivery tied together through motif selection and prints and of course color.

 

We continued working on creating and refining trim, yarn and, material palettes and drilled down on price points to make sure we'd be able to deliver the best product at all price points. 

 

We made it to the finish line on time. FA18 got a standing ovation at the sales meeting, a sales agent who had sold the Portland Collection came back on board and accounts like Anthropology, Backcountry and Urban Outfitters bought inline silhouettes.

ROLE

Creative Director Womenswear

CATEGORY

Fashion, Women's Wear, Sportswear

ROLE

Design Director

CATEGORY

Fashion, Men's Technical Outerwear, Women's Technical Outerwear

ALPS & METERS
(MENS)

FALL16-PRESENT

Alps & Meters is one of those rare brands with a laser-focused vision of their target consumer, excellent product briefs, and a meaningful brand. They truly care about their customers and Louis, the founder and CEO, is slowly expanding with meaningful retail partners like the St. Regis in Deer Valley, St. Moritz, Courmayeur, Park City, and next fall in Harrods.

 

I love working with them as they come up with incredibly challenging product ideas that haven't been done before. On the flip side, they completely trust the process, are understanding and patient that it'll take time to work through iterations to come up with the best solution.

 

For example, we created a Men's Shearling Bomber with zip and snap-out snow skirt and pit zips. The piece is perfectly legit on the street and on the mountain. All leathers used have DWR treatment. All insulation is of the highest standard and either traceable in the case of down, or eco-friendly. 

 

They also have had great success with their sweater collection for both men's and women's which use high-quality yarns and water repellent treatments whenever feasible. 

 

Materials used are heavy waxed cotton canvas from British Millerain, a traditional British material supplier, Millior yarn dye flannels, cashmere blend yarns, Lambswool, and Alpaca blends as well. 

 

And for Fall 18 we finally introduced women's apparel to compliment the substantial menswear line.

ALPS & METERS
(WOMENS)

FALL18-PRESENT

Alps & Meters is one of those rare brands with a laser-focused vision of their target consumer, excellent product briefs, and a meaningful brand. They truly care about their customers and Louis, the founder and CEO, is slowly expanding with meaningful retail partners like the St. Regis in Deer Valley, St. Moritz, Courmayeur, Park City, and next fall even in Harrods.

 

I love working with them as they come up with incredibly challenging product ideas that haven't been done before. On the flip side, they completely trust the process, are understanding and patient that it'll take time to work through iterations to come up with the best solution.

 

For example, we created a women's insulated leather bomber with shearling collar and zip-out snow skirt that while worn zipped-in extends the jacket long enough. This piece is perfectly legit on the street and on the mountain. All leathers used have DWR treatment. All insulation is of the highest standard and either traceable in the case of down, or eco-friendly. 

 

They also have had great success with their sweater collection for both men's and women's which use high-quality yarns and water repellent treatments whenever feasible. 

 

Materials used are heavy waxed cotton canvas from British Millerain, a traditional British material supplier, Millior yarn dye flannels, cashmere blend yarns, Lambswool, and Alpaca blends as well.

ROLE

Creative Director Womenswear

CATEGORY

Fashion, Men's Technical Outerwear, Women's Technical Outerwear

APPAREL DEVELOPMENT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

It's a smart 'Dropbox' for Product Development.

BASIN + RANGE

FALL 16 - SPRING 18

ROLE

Design Director (Exit210

CATEGORY

Mens, Women's, Technical Outerwear, Lifestyle

November 2015, when I was a partner in a design to sourcing agency (Exit 21) and was trying to get our business up and running, we got an unexpected call from Park City, Utah. 

 

We knew that Backcountry.com was planning on launching their in-house Outdoor brand and we had pitched our services to them earlier that year. Much bigger was our delight when they asked us if we'd be able to deliver on time for the Fall 2016 launch. Gulp. But we said yes, we'll work our best to get it done, and we fulfilled what we had promised

 

We knew we had to work really closely with our material suppliers to get functional fabrics at good prices and low minimums (sounds like the rainbow colored unicorn) and push Backcountry to be gutsy and trusting with their orders, given that they had to order after seeing only one prototype (which are rarely representative of the final outcome).

 

We created branded trims, printed shell fabrics, a core functional material palette, color palettes and men's and women's silhouettes from down sweaters, 3L Outerwear jackets, and pants, insulated women's pants, softshell, fleece and sherpa jackets as well as insulated Lifestyle Jackets for both genders. Later we expanded into cotton and flannel shirts, stretch chino shorts and pants and climbing, fly fishing and watersport friendly silhouettes.

 

Over the years, I teamed up with Lesa Street and Layli Conway for silhouette design and print designer Kathy Libnic.

 

When Basin + Range launched (on time!) on site, it became their 2nd biggest brand launch behind Fjaelraven.

POLER STUFF

SPRING 16

I absolutely adored what the guys from Poler Stuff had accomplished with a funky idea, guts and a scrappy process. They flipped the Outdoor industry on its head and new brands were built in their wake using the more friendly outdoor approach and smirking off the usual adrenaline induced performance focus.

 

For SP16 they wanted to experiment with higher price points and bringing the original ACG (Nike's All Condition Gear) aesthetic back. Lesa Street and I collaborated on the project and I am not going to lie and say that coloring these pieces came easily. I had to scrap everything I learned about 'commercial' and 'sellable' and still didn't get it right.

Not really my aesthetic but Benji's vision was spot on and I love how unique and audacious these garments turned out.

 

Sadly, Poler shut down their operations end of 2018.

ROLE

Creative Director (Exit21)

CATEGORY

Outdoor, Technical Outerwear, 

HANDFUL BRAS

2014-FALL 2018

When Handful came to us (I was still partner at Exit 21, a design to sourcing agency) they had one bra and a big problem. In an effort to bring back production state-side they had partnered with an Oregon based rainwear factory. Production was a headache. The bras were scratchy, the fabric ran as wrong needles were used, they only got one colorway a month and the cost wasn't sustainable. With a pit-stop of production in LA, where we were able to improve the product, introduce a print and delivered all color at once, we re-sourced production to an athletic expert near Shanghai. 

In the years since we expanded the product offering from one single product to a full line of bras, tights, capris, layering tops, and accessories in a plethora of seasonal prints and functional seasonal color stories. 

Handful grew a healthy business that sustains all four founders full time, secured 1.5 million in seed funds and expanded a tight and engaged online community.

ROLE

Creative Director (Exit21)

CATEGORY

Athletic Apparel, Fitness, Bra, Lifestyle

Contact Me

1104 NW 15th Avenue, Portland, OR, 97209

hello@danielacaine.com  |  Tel: 971-506-8455

Telephone. 971·506·8455

Email. hello@danielacaine.com

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