LL Bean plans vintage clothing sale – WWD
WHAT’S OLD IS NEW: In what will be a first in the company’s 109-year history, LL Bean launches its first vintage clothing sale on Wednesday. Debuting via Instagram Stories, the selection will feature preppy mainstays like a chamois shirt and the Maine Guide shirt from the 60s to the present day. The mail order retailer and specialist is known for its durable products, although its lifetime warranty was discontinued in 2018 and it now offers a refund for any merchandise returned within one year of purchase.
The LL Bean Pre-Loved Collection will be available online only, in three installments: the first Wednesday, followed by October 20 and 27. The online assortment of 28 garments was chosen by the design team at LL Bean, who began the process years ago by visiting vintage fairs and flea markets across the country as part of its strategy to draw inspiration from the brand’s heritage. The flagship of Freeport, Maine will offer 120 additional items of clothing. Anoraks, vests, fleece pieces, flannel shirts and outerwear mix in styles for men, women and unisex.
The clothing resale market is booming and LL Bean, a nearly $ 1.6 billion entity, is following the path set by some of its competitors. Currently estimated at around $ 36 billion, that figure is expected to rise to $ 77 billion by 2025, according to a ThredUp report. Patagonia was one of the first major outdoor brands to enter clothing resale. Others like The North Face, Cotopaxi, Toad & Co., REI and Arc’teryx have joined the fold. Some, like REI, also resell outdoor gear and equipment. Adidas has launched “Choose to Give Back,” a program that uses ThredUp’s resale-as-a-service platform. Consumers can send any used sports performance clothing and footwear to Adidas for reuse or resale by Adidas within 45 days.
But LL Bean’s findings were given a makeover thanks to a partnership with Tersus Solutions, who refurbished and re-labeled them. Meghan Newton, one of the designers who helped select the items, said the collection is “also an important step in our commitment to extend the life cycle of our garments for years to come.”
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment when asked if the company has a larger resale and buyback program.
Decades after “The Preppy Handbook” helped satire and simultaneously elevate LL Bean as a prep emporium, the company’s New England styles still resonate with buyers. Last year’s collaboration with menswear designer Todd Snyder, a sample of his archival pieces from different decades, was sold out and one of the designer’s most successful partnerships. Snyder and LL Bean followed that up with a new collection last month inspired by fishing and hunting.