By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — We have our own sense of style, our own symphony and ballet. Dances and symphonic works have been inspired by and named for us. Las Cruces boasts creative museums and art galleries, a growing colony of renowned artists, writers and filmmakers and a burgeoning national and international reputation that acknowledges our distinctive blend of art, chile-infused cuisine, multicultural influences and multimedia fiesta attitudes.
And now we have our own blanket. I was tipped off by a Las Cruces Style reader who prefers to remain anonymous that Pendleton’s fall catalog features “a tribute to us:” a Las Cruces blanket.
I leapt online and sure enough, there it was, next to a picture of a pretty blanket in hues of desert sand, adobe red and turquoise: “The name Las Cruces (‘the crosses’) references the historic city in New Mexico where Hispanic and Native American cultures meet culturally and artistically. Earthtones reflect the ancient landscape along the Rio Grande.”
I felt elated, vindicated in my tastes and querencia choice. I thought back to that day in 1994 when I first proposed the Las Cruces Style column.
“Does Las Cruces have style?” mused our then-managing editor Harold Cousland.
I did some research and made my case with a full-page feature that summed up our style bona fides from the dawn of creation through the mid-1990s.
And I was not without authority for the task, having written some of the first newspaper articles on Santa Fe style during the dawn of the City Different’s mass-marketing frenzy. I knew and interviewed many of those who first popularized Santa Fe’s image in the 20th century, from Stanley Marcus (of Neiman Marcus fame, a savvy marketer and Santa Fe resident), to artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and tastemakers like the Pink Adobe’s Rosalee Murphy.
In short, I knew where Santa Fe Style came from, and I realized Las Cruces also has the right stuff.
In fact, enough of it to keep me in Las Cruces Style columns and news and features (and to contribute to features in magazines and a couple of books) for the next 15 years.
And as any style maven, pundit or arbiter will attest, getting our own Pendleton blanket is a big deal.
I grew up with some of those artistic and historic blankets at my grandparents’ resort in Michigan.
And as fate would have it, I would get to see where the legendary blankets are made, early in my career, as features and city editor in Portland, Ore., which was then corporate headquarters for some big names in style: Jantzen, White Stag and Pendleton.
I caught Bob Christnacht, Pendleton’s Home Division Manager, just as he was leaving for an August visit to the Santa Fe Indian Market. Their design teams make regular trips to the Southwest for inspiration and he’s personally familiar with Las Cruces, he said.
Designers agreed they’d come up with a blanket that captured our je ne sais quois and joie de vivre. Or, as Christnacht put it, “We decided it felt like you guys down there.”
It should also be noted that I did an extensive site search and it seems that neither Santa Fe nor Albuquerque has a Pendleton blanket to call their own.
So curl up and enjoy our blanket endorsement. Our time has come.
¡Viva Las Cruces Style!
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to www.lcsun-news.com and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.