girls ugg sandals LL Bean boot fashionable as utility becomes hip
BRUNSWICK, Maine A nearly century old hunting boot is catching on with a younger generation that sees the utilitarian footwear as hip. Bean familiar duck boot with leather uppers and rubber soles designed for slogging through mud and snow has become something of a fashion statement owing to its newfound popularity on college campuses, the company said. Another reason is new styles, including something Leon Leonwood Bean surely never envisioned in 1912: bright blue and pink leather, new for spring.
At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Zina Huxley Reicher of New York wears her dark brown, shearling lined boots nearly every day with a skirt or jeans. She has only one pair, but some classmates have several.
are very practical, but they also become a fashion trend, she said. simple and kind of have that rugged look that has been adopted as a fashionable thing. Bean senior manager for manufacturing in Brunswick. Next year, demand is projected to reach 500,000.
Defying a trend toward offshore production, the outdoors retailer is adding 125 full time employees to its Maine based manufacturing operation to keep pace with orders.
The well known boot appears to be benefiting from a retro trend, whether it penny loafers or the Gap 1969 series blue jeans, said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail in New York.
sort of like the Coca Cola bottle or the sleek silver lines of Apple. It iconic. And when you have that kind of icon, you leverage it, Corlett said. Bean icon from decades ago is striking an emotional chord with people who yearning for the good old days. Trendy UGG boots and the Timberland brand outstrip Bean in sales, he said. Bean. It has become something of an unofficial symbol of Maine, like the rocky coast and lobsters. Bean boot outside the 24 hour retail store near the company headquarters in Freeport. Tourists regularly snap photos. Bean featured one of its factory workers in a national television advertising campaign that capitalized on the boot popularity.
The boots carry the in the USA label, something that hard to find these days in footwear. Labor Department. In Maine, shoe manufacturing jobs peaked at more than 25,000 in the 1960s, and last year there were 1,300 jobs, according to the Maine Department of Labor. Bass, Cole Haan, Sebago and Dexter are now made abroad. Bean has resisted the notion of making its Bean boots overseas.
made a commitment since it our signature product, and because of our heritage, that they always be made in Maine, spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said. Bean created the hunting boot for himself after his feet got wet and cold on a hunting trip, and it was not an instant success. Ninety of the first 100 pairs sold in 1912 were returned after the leather separated; Bean had a satisfaction guarantee, so he returned customers money. Bean Hunting Shoe is available unlined or with various linings, including Gore Tex, Thinsulate and shearling. There are plenty of other variations, including quilted, canvas and plaid and even bright blue and pink leather. There are low cut versions as well.
The hunting version has a softer rubber compound that allows a hunter to tread lightly, while the Boot has a steel shank and tougher rubber compound that holds up better on asphalt.
Each Gore Tex liner is inflated and dunked in a tank to make sure it watertight before being dried and put in the boot.