SCENE | Patagonia H.Q., Ventura, CA.


When I found out I was going to be able to get a tour of the Patagonia offices in Ventura, CA., I freaked out. It's a brand I've utterly been in a relationship with since I was a kid. Really. I know that might sound weird or uncool or materialistic, but it's true. When the Patagonia catalogs would come in the mail and I would see photos of these rad girls surfing and kayaking and climbing mountains, I was truly inspired to travel and be adventurous and, well, be a tomboy.

If I'm being honest though, 10% of me was a little nervous to see the office today. When you hold something in such a high regard, it's easy to get let down. And especially when you're seeing "how the sausage is made", there's great opportunity for the magic to be lost.

But, unsurprisingly, that didn't happen today in Ventura. Patagonia is as magical and inspiring a place as I imagined it would be. I was grinning the whole time. I truly believe that despite its retail success (they do half a B in sales every year), Patagonia is still an iconoclastic company with its roots still very much in tact. In fact, its founder Yvon Chouinard, the man who founded the company in 1972, was there today eating his lunch in the small cafeteria in an old fleece and a pair of flip flops.






Color schemes from the Spring '87 line.

One of the several machines in the fabric test lab.

An original tin building on the Patagonia campus.

Solar panels in the parking lot that offset most of the energy produced by their main building.

Some of the awesome designers and pros on the Patagonia team! This site visit was one of the highlights of my year, thank you so much Patagonia!

18 comments:

dz_g said...

shut the front door! that's awesome; patagonia is just plain dreamy in my book.

Heather said...

I love Patagonia, they support so many local Ventura groups. And the tin shed you pictured is actually where Chouinard started making his climbing equipment in.

Katie said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have absolutely loved Patagonia for years and as a dog walker in Michigan wear their gear literally every day. I truly appreciate their concern for the environment, fair labor practices, great catalogs (as you said), fun colors, and well-made clothes.

Anonymous said...

This makes me want to buy some Patagonia, what pieces would you recommend for a newbie in SoCal?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your visit yesterday Lizzie. You captured the essence of our little company so eloquently. We love your work and we hope to see you again soon.

Best,
Korina

Patagonia Color

Aja Lake [the gold hat.] said...

from one retail junkie to another, that looks so rad. thanks for sharing, lizzie. xx

Anonymous said...

this rules!!!

Anonymous said...

The Dream Team.

jill said...

There's my classmate from Otis, Rachel! Hi Rachel :)

Anonymous said...

I also had a full blown relationship with the Patagonia catalog as a kid. Growing up in a small, Midwestern private college town, all the beautiful coeds wore Patagonia everything. At the time, it was the acme of cool. Now I'm spending a lot of time trying to find the bolder-color styles on eBay, reminiscing about when Rusted Root played up the block from my house (ha!).

Thanks for your awesome posts!
-Hannah

Emme said...

So amazing! Love everything about this post.

sweet harvest moon said...

Love this brand! Thank you for sharing with us, loved this post!

Alex M said...

Love this. Awesome pictures.

kimberly flower said...

I love working for them! It really is the best company, and great to be behind a brand that stays true to it's roots.

Tradlands said...

Would love to see some more of those older color ways from different years.
It would be interesting to see how those colors have grown and progressed and changed with the times.

Yves in 180 South was amazing too.

hudagai said...

Yes Patagonia has great values and I like the gear but...
they could do better on women's clothing.

Anonymous said...

true to it's roots??!!

patagonia is nothing more than an overpriced hipster city brand nowadays... i cannot tell you the last time i saw someone wearing/with anything patagonia doing something in a respectable wilderness setting, and i can certainly promise you i don't

plus, everything is made overseas... EVERYTHING. how that is staying true to your roots is way beyond me. and please, don't give me some b.s. about having to stay competitive in a global marketplace... weak!

patagonia embodies everything that is wrong with the outdoor industry today; it makes me sick.

Rogger Mcloud said...

You are welcome. Come back whenever you want. Patagonia is your home. And the house of the world. So is Buenos Aires, and the rest of Argentina. If you go to the city you should look for Buenos Aires temporary rent apartments. It is less expensive and nicer than a hotel.