ROW 1: L.L.BEAN “SIGNATURE” WAXED CANVAS MAINE HUNTING BOOT (16″ in store November); TODD SNYDER + CHAMPION POCKET SWEATSHIRT; JANSPORT SKI AND HIKE BACKPACK; ROW 2: BURTON HARDWICK DUFFLE; BEST MADE SHOP, TRIBECA, NY; ROW 3: EASTLAND WOMENS YARMOUTH USA CAMP MOC; AD FOR NEW G.H.BASS WEEJUNS; BURTON ROVER RESTRICTED SNOWBOARD BOOT COLLABORATION WITH DIEMME FOOTWEAR
For the upcoming change of season, we are seeing a return to the brands of our youth and a nostalgia for the sportswear with which we grew up. Companies like L.L.Bean, founded in 1912; Woolrich, family run since 1830; and Eastland Shoes, in business since 1955, all represent American made quality and craftsmanship which have become increasingly popular in today’s marketplace. Jansport and Burton Snowboards, among others, have created “heritage” collections, returning to the original designs and even logos of their early days.
These companies have a loyal following among the generation that was raised wearing their apparel. They have found a new generation of customers, however, by partnering with contemporary designers and updating their looks, while remaining true to the essence of the brand. Designer Todd Snyder has collaborated with Champion, established in 1919, to launch a men’s sportswear line for Fall 2013 entitled “City Gym”. The collection is inspired by archival Champion pieces and vintage photos from the New York Athletic Club. G.H.Bass is soon debuting a new campaign which pays tribute to the Weejun Penny Loafer. L.L.Bean’s “Signature” collection, consists of the tried and true classics but cut slimmer for a younger urban customer. And Sperry Topsider has been revitalized by the fun and colorful reinvention of its classic boat shoe, first released in 1935.
Finally we have new companies like Topo Designs and Best Made Company, re-creating retro sporting gear and apparel, inspired by camping, fishing, hunting and other outdoor sports in their early lo-tech days. What’s old is new again, or even better, doesn’t age. These classics, old and new, are iconic pieces of American sportswear, as stylish today as when they were when first worn.