L.L.Bean to Launch New Lifestyle Collection, L.L.Bean Signature
Acclaimed Fashion Designer Alex Carleton to Be Creative Director
Freeport, ME, August 20, 2009 – Iconic American sportswear brand, L.L.Bean, has a history of offering consumers innovation, quality and guaranteed satisfaction with everything from its famous Maine Hunting Shoe® and Boat and Tote to oxford cloth shirts and classic sweaters. On the eve of its 100th anniversary, L.L.Bean writes a new chapter with the March 2010 launch of L.L.Bean Signature, a new sportswear collection for men and women. The company has tapped Alex Carleton, the founder of fashion label Rogues Gallery, as the L.L.Bean Signature Creative Director.
L.L.Bean Signature will be rooted in L.L.Bean tradition. 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 take the best of Bean and re-interpret it in a fresh new way," said Chris Vickers, Vice President of L.L.Bean Signature. "We are responding to a call from an underserved segment of our customer base. These customers know and trust the L.L.Bean brand and favor American classics and modern styling, and they are looking for additional offerings that will give them a more versatile wardrobe. Having worked at L.L.Bean, Alex understands our brand and will help us meet the needs of this important consumer," added Vickers.
A New England native and self-proclaimed "champion of Maine," Carleton’s career has been influenced by the region’s relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. Carleton credits L.L.Bean Chairman and former President Leon Gorman as his mentor and utilitarian style icon.
Early on in his career Carleton worked at L.L.Bean as a senior designer and developed a unique understanding of Bean’s relationship with traditional American life. With his Rogues Gallery collection, he has won praise throughout the fashion industry for his cutting-edge designs and reinterpretations of classic American styles. As Creative Director of L.L.Bean Signature, he will be charged with designing for a range of customers who seek clothes that fit all aspects of their lives, whether day or evening, work or weekend.
"Being named Creative Director of L.L.Bean Signature is like coming home for me," said Alex Carleton. "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. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a truly iconic American brand," added Carleton.
The Spring/Summer 2010 offering for men will include lightweight, tailored navy linen blazers, buffalo plaid and madras shirting, nubby shawl-neck sweaters and a new version of the all-American field coat. The women’s collection will feature a modern interpretation of the belted camp jacket, soft denim and colorful madras shirtdresses, classic wrap skirts and new chino and denim styles. Carleton will also create a new twist on L.L.Bean classics such as the Boat and Tote® Bag.
L.L.Bean Signature will launch in March 2010 and will be available through a dedicated section on llbean.com and also accessible from llbeansignature.com, a mail-order catalog and new branded shop-in-shops within L.L.Bean retail stores.
About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown substantially, the company remains committed to the same honest principles upon which it was built – a focus on the customer, continuous product improvement and innovation, respect for people, preservation of the natural environment and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The 220,000 sq. ft. flagship campus of stores in Freeport, Maine, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors each year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at llbean.com.
About Alex Carleton
Alex Carleton began his fashion career at Polo Ralph Lauren in New York, where he worked in visual merchandising and interior design. He then joined the men’s design team at Abercrombie & Fitch. In 1998 the New England native designer moved to Maine and signed on as Senior Designer for L.L.Bean. Shortly after Carleton’s return to Maine, he began Rogues Gallery, a contemporary fashion label, with a small group of assistants from Maine College of Art. His silk-screened, garment-dyed vintage tees and use of maritime iconography has garnered him praise among the fashion elite. In 2009, Carleton was nominated for the GQ/CFDA Best New Menswear Designer in America.