Is This What Happens When L.L.Bean “Fixes” Fusty?

From the New York Times: “…Men’s. L.L. Bean has had prior dalliances with capital F fashion, though these amounted mostly to superficial tweaks. Just over a decade ago, the company hired Alex Carleton, a designer named at the time by GQ and the Council of Fashion Designers of America as one of America’s best new men’s wear designers, to revitalize its fusty image.”

From the Portland Press Herald: “L.L.Bean cuts 200 jobs, plans to close Lewiston call center in 2021. The Freeport-based outdoor retailer says it also will close its Lewiston call center in addition to the job cuts affecting full- and part-time workers who will be let go by the end of the month…”

From my archives: My highly opinionated fusty posts on L.L.Bean’s new direction. Fusty People Unite!


L.L.Bean’s Story is also America’s Story (made in China)!

Update 2/7: Photo gallery on Vogue of the new “revitalized” line from L.L.Bean.


6 thoughts on “Is This What Happens When L.L.Bean “Fixes” Fusty?

  1. Who owns L. L. Bean now? They might have a fancy fashion designer, but he’s not the one controlling the finances. Let’s see what all the new trade deals with China and USMCA do for L. L. Bean’s production over the next year or two. But short of them selling to a new owner with an instinct for old fashioned quality they’re probably going to go the way of J. C. Penney because it sounds the accountants are running the show and they don’t know who their customers are anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah….the founder grew up outside. The new people are recreationalists. There’s no comparison. The Bean is succumbing to fast fashion. Bummer. Oh well, thank God there is Kuhl and Wigwam!


        1. The remaining selling points of Bean for me were that they still have a few iconic Maine-made products, they provide Maine jobs and are good for the local economy. Now that they are expanding their HQ in Freeport (but only if they will get a $10 million tax break [TIFF] from the town) to build a new 400,000-square-foot office complex while simultaneously cutting 200 jobs AND closing their call center in Lewiston (they say they will offer jobs to those workers in their Portland call center 30 miles away, not sure if the wages will make it doable for the workers), it leaves a bad taste.


        2. Re Kuhl I had never heard of them, but looking at their website they seem to also sell imported merch made from poly fleece that doesn’t mention being sustainable…

          Land’s End gets a lot of my business now. They aren’t sustainable, not sure who is that I can afford and I did try very hard, but at least many of their offerings are still tailored to fusty old ladies like me. 🙂 They definitely have been marketing to a younger demographic but they seem to be maintaining a nice balance by not alienating their older customers. The quality has been very good and the few issues I’ve had they accepted my return more than a year later. They have a great satisfaction guarantee. I have things I bought from them going on three years now vs falling apart after a few months.

          Liked by 1 person

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