L.L. Bean Signature Line by Rogues Gallery

Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by lucy92, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. lucy92

    lucy92 Administrator

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    This is a new segment of LL bean's business. its supposed to be fashion forward. i think it looks a bit like jcrew however.

    the clothing was designed by alex carleton of rogues gallery.

    source: guestofaguest
     

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  2. Label Basher

    Label Basher New Member

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    Is L.L Bean an american fashion house. :huh:

    I always thought it was a coffee chain like Starbucks. :shock:
     
  3. CharlottefromCA

    CharlottefromCA User Friendly

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    LOL about the coffee house, and lol about the fashion forward. Maybe next season they will make steps but this just looks like classic LL Bean. Unless they are saying they are the future of fashion?
     
  4. Scott

    Scott Stitch:the Hand

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    i quite like rogues gallery t'shirts and accessories actually and i think what he does,albeit slightly more idio,is very within the ll bean world. its very simple and easy and not too fashion-y. fitting too that got somebody who is based in maine. my perception of ll bean,and perhaps many others,has always been that it's a company with very cheesy clothes and i think perhaps they may see that and they want to break away from it all. maybe in the coming seasons he'll add more of the imagery that he does with rogues.

    label basher....ll bean is a classic,american outdoors/seasonal wardrobe company(not really a house) that's based in maine. generally,it's been more for people that live or vacation in the middle of nowhere.
     
    #4 Scott, Oct 23, 2009
    Last edited by moderator cin: Oct 23, 2009
  5. lucy92

    lucy92 Administrator

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    i'm from new england and ll bean is a way of life around here. their store in freeport maine is open 24 hours and they are opening more new stores around massachusetts. its very popular with baby boomers and their parents.

    Label Basher, you might be familiar with the ll bean totes. celebrities like sarah jessica parker carry them around.

    i think however that this collection is a misstep. i think they should have created a more fashion forward collection around flannel instead.
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Stitch:the Hand

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    ^indeed....it can be the uniform for many new england yuppies. :ninja:

    i agree that he could have perhaps experimented a bit more rather than another line of basics. but only the first season,i suppose...we'll see.
     
  7. Label Basher

    Label Basher New Member

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    No sorry I'm not familiar with their totes :blush:. I have to say it looks like American Apparel.

    I think it must have been the Bean in the name like coffee beans.

    I never saw an LL Bean store when I was in LA and NY and I've never really heard it mentioned on American sitcoms also I'm guessing it's not sold in England so yeah I'm embarassed :lol:.
     
  8. lucy92

    lucy92 Administrator

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    ^some ll bean items are actually styled in the high fashion editorials in this months vogue with the cast of "9" on the cover.

    my parents and my grandparents really like the line.

    their catalog earns them more money than their physical stores.
     
  9. lucy92

    lucy92 Administrator

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    this is actually an amazing story. i had no idea that he used to design for them in the past!!! its great how he has come full circle. good for him!!!


    Designer Alex Carleton has been handed a tall order: give Maine-based L.L. Bean some edge.

    By Christopher Muther, Globe Staff | October 29, 2009
    NEW YORK - The invitation said the party was for L.L. Bean, but the gathering at a fashionable Hell’s Kitchen art gallery two weeks ago felt light-years from the Freeport, Maine, retailer and its woodsy world of fleece, comfort mocs, and wrinkle-free chinos. Waiters in crisp shirts circled the room with trays of wine while some of the country’s top fashion editors eyed the two-dozen models who stood on a raised platform attired in preppy-chic designs. Oh, look over there, it’s Anderson Cooper.
    Despite the disconnect between the name on the invite and the party itself, this was very much an L.L. Bean affair. The models wore the Maine retailer’s new specialty line, L.L. Bean Signature - an attempt to reach a younger, more trend-conscious audience - which arrives in stores and online in March. Instead of relaxed mom jeans, there are flirty denim skirts. Men’s shirts are body-conscious and fitted. The hunting jackets look more appropriate for hunting down a good bottle of Prosecco in Back Bay than tracking moose. The new Signature canvas tote bags lack those quintessential Bean details: contrasting handles and monograms.
    This is an L.L. Bean line to compete with the more fashion-forward likes of J.Crew and Ralph Lauren’s Rugby line, and it follows a path taken by historic American brands Woolrich and Pendleton, both of which recently upped their style profiles with new specialty lines.
    The more fashionable take on L.L. Bean comes courtesy of Cape Cod native Alex Carleton, whose Portland, Maine-based clothing line Rogues Gallery has, in a few short years, become a favorite among stylish gents. Carleton, 40, who grew up in East Orleans and went to the Cambridge School in Weston, was tapped by L.L. Bean last year to help create the Signature Collection, and has since been installed as the line’s creative director.
    “The idea is that this is the next generation of L.L. Bean customer,’’ Carleton explains the day after the party. After a late night of gallivanting, he’s digging into a giant slab of chocolate cake at a cafe near his New York studio. “It’s targeted to a younger demographic. There are a few pieces in the line that anyone would be able to relate to - the current Bean consumer as well as younger folks who are in college.’’
    Unlike designer collaborations that regularly fill racks at Target and H&M, L.L. Bean Signature is not a one-off project. According to Chris Vickers, vice president of L.L. Bean Signature, the clothes will become a permanent fixture in L.L. Bean stores - which have expanded in recent years, pushing as far west as the Chicago area. The Signature Collection will have its own real estate within stores, and if the line does well, Signature stores are a possibility.
    “We’re eventually hoping to open free-standing stores,’’ Vickers said the morning after the party as he sifted through blog posts about the new collection. “Ideally, we would like to open locations in places like the Prudential Center. It’s a full line, so this would be a full store.’’
    Carleton and his team of designers have created about 200 pieces for the new collection, but this month’s unveiling was just a tease to get fashion editors excited for the full offering in March. The models wore looks that ranged from updates on plaid shirts to day and evening dresses that hint at their Maine roots with subtle, almost abstract patterns of sailboats or buoys. The pieces are more expensive than Bean’s standard issue clothing, but none of it is more than $150.
    “I always love getting the L.L. Bean catalog, but I never wind up finding anything in there that appeals to me beyond the slipper socks or the dog beds,’’ says Nicole Phelps, executive editor of Style.com. “I think there’s a whole generation of fashion shoppers who they haven’t tapped into lately, but who are interested in the heritage of the label.’’
    Carleton’s arrival comes at a time when the privately-held retailer could benefit from an infusion of new customers. Company president and chief executive Chris McCormick announced earlier this year that L.L. Bean’s revenues were down nearly 8 percent; the company eliminated more than 100 jobs as a result. It was only the third time since 1960 that the company saw a decline in revenues.
    While Maine-based retail analyst Tom Yake of Yake & Associates said that dip was not as dire as many retailers experienced, the addition of a new, higher-end collection could help the company, which has never been as strong on clothes as it is with sporting and outdoor goods.
    “If they can make some of that square footage in their stores productive - if this designer can hit on the right model - they might be on to something,’’ Yake says. “Up here, we all hope that they come out of it, and there are not that many industries up here that are faring that well. But L.L. Bean is just one of those legendary companies.’’
    There’s another reason for optimism. American heritage sportswear is experiencing a major renaissance, not just in the US, but in Europe and Japan, and companies are trying to capitalize with more fashion-forward offerings. Woolrich has teamed with New York-based Japanese designer Daiki Suzuki, while Pendleton has teamed with Open Ceremony.
    In many ways, Carleton is just the person to bring some edge to Bean. Since moving to Maine 10 years ago, he’s used the historic New England nautical motifs as the inspiration for Rogues Gallery graphic T-shirts. He was soon designing a whole men’s line that includes knit sweaters, heavyweight plaid shirts, and wool outerwear.
    With his thick beard and tattooed forearms, Carleton almost looks as if he could have emerged from a 100-year-old sepia tone photo of a Maine seafarer, just the type of photo you might see hanging in his eclectic Portland store.
    He spent the 1990s working in design at Ralph Lauren and at Abercrombie & Fitch in Manhattan, but when Carleton moved to Maine to escape his hectic Manhattan life, one of the first places he worked was L.L. Bean. He bounced around the company, designing menswear and children’s clothes, while moonlighting on what would eventually become Rogues Gallery.
    “It’s a very different narrative,’’ he says, explaining the distinction between L.L. Bean Signature and Rogues Gallery. “Stanley Kubrick did ‘Barry Linden.’ And Stanley Kubrick did ‘The Shining.’ They’re two very different stories. But that’s something that interested me about this project. I was able to channel another voice and create another story.’’
    Not only is he designing clothes that are more upbeat and preppy than his own line, he’s also making a big leap by designing women’s wear for the first time in his career. The 97-year-old company is putting a lot of faith in his talents.
    “I realized this is a good fit because I haven’t been feeling a lot of pressure,’’ he says. “Not to say that this hasn’t been a lot of hard work, but I’ve felt pretty confident in just understanding the brand. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve lived the brand.’’


    source: boston.com
     

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    #9 lucy92, Oct 29, 2009
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  10. Scott

    Scott Stitch:the Hand

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    some things are a little too expensive though i must say. my dad gets the catalogue and has only ever bought a pair of slippers :lol:

    but the design thing is probably a good idea though,thinking about it more. speaking in terms of american brands,i mean competition is evolving-with target emphasising design with the collaborations,the Gap hiring on patrick robinson,american eagle and J.Crew sprucing up their aesthetics more. ll bean has been around for a long time and it's such a fixture upon the american retail/catalogue world...they needed to add something more attractive to their branding.....especially for those customers going to those aforementioned shops.
     
  11. Scott

    Scott Stitch:the Hand

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    and isn't he also doing a line for J.Crew?
     
  12. lucy92

    lucy92 Administrator

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    i don't know if he's worked for j.crew. its possible!

    i have seen the opening ceremony for pendleton line and it was really nice and really really expensive (pendleton is usually 50% more expensive than ll bean to begin) visual wise. i much preferred the pendleton collection over this ll bean line. if i was into buying american heritage garments i'd go for that if i had the cash.
     
  13. mikeijames

    mikeijames no tom ford, no thanks.

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    this is such a smart move. not only does it capture the fashion consumer who may have less to spend these days, but it reinvigorates the "old money" conspicuous consumer that already bought l.l. bean anyway. the mixing of high and low has gone from a trend to a way of life in the fashion world, it's important for brands like these to establish themselves as "acceptable" objects to be mixed to that crowd.

    i, for one, certainly tuck my l.l. bean totes in between my more expensive luggage as a point of pride when traveling.
     
  14. MissMagAddict

    MissMagAddict The future is stupid

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    source | wwd.com

    [​IMG]

     

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