Founded in 1927, Ohio Knitting Mills rose to prominence to become one of the largest garment producers in the United States. Growing to nearly 1,000 employees with a factory the size of a city block, the family owned Cleveland, Ohio-based mill produced private label clothing, shoes and even metal work for heavy hitters like Sears, Saks and rapidly growing Portland brand Pendleton.
However, like many in their industry, OKM saw a decline in demand for USA-made garments and after seven decades in business , they were forced to close in 2005.
After learning this, sculptor Steven Tatar had an idea. He remembered Ohio Knitting Mills; as a boy he grew up across the street and had a deep appreciation for the industry in his home city. He met the grandson of OKM's founder, Gary Rand. The third generation of ownership, Rand took over for his father who took over for his father-in law before him. With a label that was already recognized worldwide, Tatar and Rand hatched a plan to restore Ohio Knitting Mills to its former glory.
Tatar, equipped with the original patterns and samples from OKM, set out to recreate their most popular styles with a modern twist. He and his team began to make quality products again, infusing contemporary design and expert craftsmanship into each and every piece. It's obvious when looking at touching OKM's new pieces: they have a charm about them; they're classic knits with beautiful yarns. The character of each sweater, cardigan and jacket is evident with its subtle variations in color.
We met Steven at the Inspiration Show in Los Angeles and are proud to carry a selection of their American made knits.