L.L. Bean has become the latest American brand to quite literally trade on its heritage. With the launch of its L.L. Bean Pre-Loved collection this morning, the Maine-based maker joins other historic labels like J. Press and Brooks Brothers in selling its own vintage wares to current customers.
As anyone who’s ever attended the Brimfield Antique show can tell you, there’s no shortage of vintage Bean out there. In its 109 years in business—106 of which featured a lifetime return policy—L.L. Bean has seeded Goodwills and flea markets from Freeport to Fremont with its pre-owned merchandise. But, this is the first time that the company itself will be the seller.
“There is a strong demand for vintage L.L. Bean gear and apparel, and we’re excited to offer a vintage collection that was hand-selected by our design team, giving our customers one-of-a-kind styles while also extending the lifecycle of our apparel already in circulation,” a spokesperson for the company tells Robb Report.
The Pre-Loved collection has been in the works for years, and the 28 pieces it encapsulates were sourced from vintage fairs and second-hand markets across the country. And because even the best-made goods will show wear-and-tear with age, L.L. Bean has partnered with Tersus Solutions—a Denver-based company that specializes in the cleaning and repair of outdoor apparel—to mend and refurbish the pieces selected for inclusion.
Though its contents may be old, the Pre-Loved collection will be sold via the most modern of means: the Instagram Stories sale. Starting at 10 a.m. ET, L.L. Bean began posting pieces from the first batch of the Pre-Loved Collection to its official account’s stories, with each garment going to the first person to claim and purchase it via a direct message to the brand’s account.
Unsurprisingly, the first round promptly sold out, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. The Pre-Loved Collection will be sold through two additional sales held on 20th and 27th. Each will be comprised of men’s and women’s clothing centered around a specific theme, with the inaugural offering focused on flannel, chamois and vests. Highlights from the first drop included a 1960s Bean’s Game Vest and a Maine Guide flannel from the ‘90s. Week two will shift to sweaters and knitwear, while the final installment will cover fleece and outerwear.
There are no plans to hold additional sales beyond the announced dates, though a spokesperson for the brand remarks that “we will continue exploring ways to further extend the lifecycle of our apparel already in circulation.” In the meantime, we’ll all get a chance to recirculate the best of yesteryear into our own closets.