Fashion Hall of Obscurity – Mountain Artisans

Mountain Artisans dress, mid 1970s

Mountain artisans label from skirt, c. mid 1970s

As part of the renewed interest in traditional crafts and the back-to-the-land movement that grew out of the hippie culture of the late 1960s, Mountain Artisans was created in 1968. Organized as a cooperative quilting business in Charleston, West Virginia, the not-for-profit co-op was owned and operated by the women who made the patchwork creations including: Sharon Percy Rockefeller, Florette Angel, and Dorothy Weatherford. Marketing efforts had garnered national recognition and a prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award in 1972. In their Coty citation, Mountain Artisans was recognized for being a part of the American crafts revival movement. Their quilted fabrics were used by  interior designers such as Parish-Hadley, the firm that had assisted Jacqueline Kennedy in redecorating the White House, and was sold through upscale department stores across the U.S. including Neiman Marcus. Oscar de la Renta used Mountain Artisans fabrics in his fashions, and the company had its own line of quilted fashions in the 1970s. The Co-op was dissolved in 1978.