Tag Archives: Maine Hunting Shoe

The Maine Hunting Shoe: A Classic Re-Mix

When writing the latest blog posts for AMERICANA about L.L. Bean & Sticking With The Classics, I was reminded about the Maine Hunting Shoe & how it’s been re-mixed over the years.

Maine Hunting Shoe via L.L. Bean

 

Since 1912, L.L. Bean has been making the the classic “duck boot” in a variety of styles they have developed over the years. One can say that this humble hunting boot is the backbone of L.L. Bean, both as a brand and a company.

During the last wave of prep/ivy/classic American fashion, shoe designer Manolo Blahnik came out with a version of the Maine Hunting shoe for women, with a stiletto heel and pointed toe in 1978.

Manolo Blahnik's Maine Hunting Shoe 1978 via Foster Huntington

 

For Fall/Winter 2010, Tommy Hilfiger re-worked the Maine Hunting Shoe once again for high fashion, with several twists on the old classic.  Hilfiger’s designs delighted some, while horrifying others.

via Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2010

Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2010 via New York Magazine

Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2010 via New York Magazine

 

I think that’s what seperates classic American style from fleeting trends.  The ability to wear the original, a re-mix or both at the same time, with a nod to the past and the confidence to wear it today and onward toward tomorrow.

Should classic designs be left alone or is it ok to re-mix them for a new look?

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L.L. Bean

 

The Giant Maine Hunting Shoe Outside L.L. Bean’s Flagship Store in Freeport, Maine - Photo via flickr:Bored College Kid

L.L. Bean is based in Freeport, Maine and was founded in 1912 by its namesake Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean.  The company started out by making the famous rubber-bottomed and leather-upper Maine Hunting Shoe.  Later, L.L. Bean expanded to an outdoor hunting and fishing outfitter and generated business in the northeastern United States from its mail-order catalog.  Today, the brand is synonymous with quintessential American outdoor style.

Boat & Tote Bags

Although the company still continues to generate most of its business through catalog and online orders, the company maintains a 24-hour, 365 days-a-year flagship store in Freeport, Maine as well as additional stores throughout the eastern United States and one in Japan.  The flagship store in Maine has been described in The Preppy Handbook as “nothing less than a prep Mecca.”

Bean's Norwegian Fisherman Sweater - "The nearest thing to a Prep membership card." - The Preppy Handbook

The company claims to carry over 20,000 products, but some of its most famous items are the Maine Hunting Shoe, Camp Mocs and Blucher Moccasins, the Norwegian Fisherman Sweater and the Boat and Tote Bag. Since 1912, the company has had a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee policy that allows the customer to return anything at anytime if they are not completely satisfied.

Further Reading:

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Filed under Classic American Brands, L.L. Bean