Tell me a little about the history of Penfield?
In 1975 Harvey Gross established the Penfield brand in Hudson, Massachusetts. Penfield garments became recognized for exceptional quality, reliability and function particularly in down filled jackets and outerwear. Penfield epitomizes the spirit and qualities of New England and the great outdoors. 37 years later we are still making Penfield products according to the same basic principles on which the company was founded.
Your history lies deep in outdoor apparel and outwerwear, of course the recent colaborations with Streetwear and fashion companies still strongly show your depth and amazing quality, but they do steer away from conventional markets, what made you guys decide to venture into this realm?
I think Penfield has always managed to marry the best elements of function and fashion into its line. Still retaining the integrity of clothing that is made to function in the extremes of the New England climate, it is equally at home on the streets of Boston, London or Tokyo. There is so much creativity coming out of streetwear and I think that this market in particular is more and more interested and aware of the technical/performance attributes of garments and also has an understanding and appreciation of the heritage of a brand like Penfield. I think that as long as we are selective in our approach these projects can have integrity and I see them as really creating a new category and new space which is distinct from our traditional lines.
Tell me a little about each project, first how did the Alife Goosedown Jacket colaboration come about?
Treis from Alife stopped by the showroom and we talked through some ideas – they have done so many interesting projects on footwear and it seemed like it would be an exciting extension to work on an outerwear piece with them. I am really happy with the way it worked out – the Walkabout jacket is a classic Penfield item and with Alife we have given it a bit of a special ‘twist’.
And Woodwood, how did this come about?
WoodWood epitomise the best of what is happening in Scandinavia – it’s amazing how many good things are emerging from this region. It’s an important region for Penfield as well and when WoodWood approached us we really didn’t have to think about it too long to understand the positive synergies of a collaboration with them.
Lastly as far as the recent colaborations go, you’ve also worked alongside Hardy Bleechman of Maharishi and wil be using numerous DPM’s in a number of products, this is an especially exciting project for me, as a big DPM fan, and I also see it fitting really well with penfield, tell me more about this?
Hardy has been really supportive and it has been exciting working with him on the Penfield DPM projects. It’s also fun to see it evolve and we will be launching a new version for Fall ‘08. I think the basic principle of this project being ‘to detach camouflage from its military associations’ is important and is consistent with Penfield’s core values.
The first of the DPM influenced products is a hoodie that utilises Schoeller 3X Dry Technology, it sounds interesting, can you tell us more about this?
It’s important for us to build function into all categories of our product line – with this piece we wanted to improve the functionality of what is perceived to be a ‘basic’ garment. The Schoeller technology we have applied to this is revolutionary as it turns an everyday item into something with exceptional performance characteristics.
What other recently developed technology can we expect to see in Penfield Products this year?
We are working on a number of innovative technologies from different companies – but just think about this – with all the amazing developments in materials and fabrics over the last few decades nobody has come up with anything better than down as the best insulator available – sometimes you just can’t beat mother nature!
Check out more information about Penfield here.