L.L. Bean Hires Rogues Designer

Apparel, outdoor gear and home goods cataloger L.L. Bean is freshening up its wardrobe. The company has tapped Alex Carleton, the founder of fashion label Rogues Gallery, as the creative director for a new sportswear collection for men and women it’s unveiling next March.

Called L.L. Bean Signature, the line will be “rooted in L.L. Bean tradition,” according to a company release. “Carleton plans to take iconic L.L. Bean style elements from different decades and juxtapose them with innovative, modern designs to create updated fit and style for the new label.”

L.L. Bean Signature will be available at www.llbean.com and also accessible from www.llbeansignature.com, a mail order catalog and new branded shop-in-shops within L.L. Bean retail stores.

Carleton, who has also worked at Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch, credits L.L. Bean chairman and former president Leon Gorman as his mentor and utilitarian style icon. Early in his career, Carleton worked at L.L. Bean as a senior designer. His Rogues Gallery collection is known for its cutting-edge designs and reinterpretations of classic American styles.

“Being named creative director of L.L. Bean Signature is like coming home for me,” Carleton said in the release. “I grew up wearing Bean boots and they are still as relevant to my lifestyle today as they were 30 years ago. With Signature I hope to create a collection that will have Bean’s authenticity with relevance for a variety of consumers.”

What prompted this new collection? “We are responding to requests from customers that know and trust the L.L. Bean brand, but may not necessarily find everything they need to suit their varied lifestyle from our current offerings,” L.L. Bean spokesperson Carolyn Beem says. “They want the same quality that L.L. Bean is known for, but want an updated fit and styling that addresses a wider range of wearing occasions.”

Beem says the Signature Collection will include familiar Bean items in updated fabrics with a fit that is closer to the body, as well as footwear, some accessories, and a few outerwear pieces. “We think this collection will be a nice complement to L.L. Bean’s existing product line,” she adds.

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