A LETTER FROM TODD
I’ve wanted to work with L.L.Bean ever since I started my own company in 2011. When I finally got the chance last year, I visited the company’s archive in Freeport, Maine for an inspiration trip. Being inside the archive I was reminded of how many iconic styles the company either invented or popularized–the Bean Boot, the chamois shirt, the puffer vest to name a few. The creative challenge became how do we tap into the nostalgia that many of us feel for these clothes while making them relevant to a new generation for whom flannel and field clothing are now an everyday uniform.
The answer came from Leon Leonwood Bean, the man himself, who founded and built the company starting in 1912. I remember looking at a photo of him in the archive. He was simultaneously dapper and down-to-earth, and he really wanted to give city people the best gear, so they could reconnect with nature and tap into her restorative power. That seemed pretty relevant right now. If you’re like me, you’re looking for fewer but better-made things. You’re cooking (and eating) more comfort food. You’re missing family, friends and looking for the balm that nature offers even if the closest you can get to the woods is slipping on a Norwegian Sweater to take the dog for a walk around the block.
I ended up calling the collection From Away because (as I learned on our visits to Freeport) one is either a "Maine-Ah" (from Maine) or "From Away" (not from Maine). When the design team and I initially worked on the collection, we wanted the clothes to be a mash-up of those two worlds–the Maine woodsman and the urban adventurer. Now that every day is an adventure, I’m hoping these clothes will help you stay warm and stylish on your journey from away to back home.