Penfield was founded in 1975 in Hudson, Massachusetts by Harvey Gross, a pioneering figure in the American outerwear industry who had championed the strength of down insulated outerwear for decades. Seeing the potential of the warm and protective garment technology, Gross acquired an old textile mill in Hudson and turned it into one of the few factories in the world adept at the special manufacturing processes required to produce down insulated apparel.?
From the very first collection (four key outerwear styles, all made from innovative rip-stop Nylon fabric and insulated with down), Penfield was at the forefront of the New England aesthetic: an authentic blend of technical fabrics and Ivy League menswear staples. It was this style that helped to introduce the American outerwear look to an international market and in 1979 'Penfield' began exporting worldwide.