As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, I came across a tweet by Christian at Ivy-Style about L.L. Bean obtaining new leadership. I had an appointment so I was not able to read it then and there. After that meeting, I read the article.
L.L. Bean has voted in a new CEO, the first to not be a relative of its founder, Leon Leonwood Bean (I still cannot believe his parents gave him that name!). The current CEO is his great-grandson. The Board of Directors as well as the family think that Stephen Smith will make a great CEO. Lucky for him the brand is doing well thanks to sticking to its New England based designs. The Bean Boots (on back order, argh!) are very popular right now, as are their French sailor shirts, men and women's flannel shirts, and backpacks. In my opinion, L.L. Bean backpacks are the best. My Adirondack barn coat has been in use since 1995 every single winter. Their Signature line has cute, preppy styles, but I do not love the quality. I do not think the products in that line will last twenty plus years as the original is known to do.
As long as Mr. Smith, whom grew up in New England, stays true to its core following's needs and requests, he will do great. Hire more staff to make more American made products, including Bean Boots will be a great first start. As a long-time L.L. Bean user, I am optimistic but also will be looking for what this change could mean for the brand, their designs, and quality. Also, us Southern WASP's would love a store down here. Good luck!