Brands

Not your mother’s L.L. Bean tote



L.L. Bean psycho tote

“Boat and Tote sales are up 30 percent over last year and have been one of the top drivers of new buyers this spring and summer. It’s been really fun seeing a new generation of customers taking our classic tote and making it their own.” L.L. Bean spokesperson, Amanda Hannah.

Everybody’s talking about how young peeps have co-opted the WASP-ish L.L. Bean Boat and Tote®* as a cheap-n-chic self-expression device.

The classic Maine-manufactured canvas tote can be monogrammed with initials, but thanks to IG and TikTok jokesters, the new thing is to subvert the #oldmoneyaesthetic heritage and emblazon it with a short sassy slogan instead. The beauty of the L.L. Bean tote was always its amalgamation of function and personalisation. You can pick the size of tote and colour of trim, as well as initials or slogan and font. Hundreds of possibilities if not thousands.

I have an L.L. Bean tote from a NARS launch many years ago and use it regularly. (It needs a clean though – thank you Town & Country for this how-to.) As a piece of merch, the slogan isn’t anything witty or pretty but simply ‘motu tane’ the name of the range. No matter, if you tire of your slogan, just wear the bag reversed until its time comes round again.

Read more here.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Juliana Salazar/Instagram
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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The culture of fashion: the 90s heritage obsession continues



Raf Simons Fantastic Man cover

More on the 90s vintage story I wrote about in June.

Friday saw 26 pieces of vintage collectables land at Dover Street Market New York from the archive of stylist David Casavant. Curating pieces from the last 20 years by designers including Prada, Helmut Lang, and Raf Simons, highlights include a Raf Simons AW00 bomber jacket (example below) loaned to Rihanna for an event, a piece that Casavant acquired after seeing it on the cover of Fantastic Man (above).
Raf Simons patched Jacket AW00 David Casavant

Why should we care?

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the 90s and early 00s are officially vintage and that era of minimalist and conceptual designers has become lionised overtime. The appeal of Casavant’s curation-collection is a combination of fashion history for culture nerds meets celebrity memorabilia. As such, the storytelling aspect of buying and selling vintage becomes increasingly relevant.

It means you can charge more for a piece that has some sort of cultural history associated with it, even if it’s a seller saying they wore it to a particular club, or bought it from a once-iconic store and then relaying the memories attached to it.

Reinforcing this idea, David Casavant was adamant he wanted to sell the pieces in a store. “I wanted to begin small and I wanted to start where you buy them physically in store and not online,” he told WWD. “Having to buy the pieces physically in the store adds a more democratic as well as a more exclusive aspect because you have to actually go there in order to see and buy them. Dover Street Market is the perfect fit for me as they really understood and were excited about the vision. Resale is going to be a staple to stay in fashion and I wanted to be able to provide them with the highest form of…what resale could be like in their store.”

For a customer to buy one of these already special pieces in this way adds to the heritage story and cultural relevance of the piece. And so the chain of value continues.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Fantastic Man; Grailed
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book, The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman
CLICK HERE to buy my beauty book, Face Values: The New Beauty Rituals and Skincare



Quote of the day: Michael Bise on 90s Gap



Gap quote Michael Bise

“Being at Gap in 1998 and 1999 was like being Tina Turner at the 1985 Grammys. She won everything that year. She was the most celebrated. The most eyes were on her. Everyone was looking at her and following her every move. And that’s what it was like at Gap.” (more…)



Streetwear retail grows up



Aime Leon Dore London cafe

Something interesting is happening in the world of streetwear. It’s fixing up, shedding its scrappy roots and going all out for growth. Latest development? In the space of a few weeks, two of its most culty brands have opened retail stores that cement their influence and ambition for mass expansion.

On June 17th, Hypebeast unveiled an impressive new seven-storey HQ-slash-store-slash-event-space in NYC’s Chinatown. Two weeks earlier, Aimé Leon Dore (above and below) opened its London store in the heart of Soho, a two-storey retail destination incorporating a marble-floored café and a VIP private lounge. A sneaker’s throw from Supreme and Stussy, Aimé Leon Dore is a far more refined proposition than these rough and ready rivals. Its branding is more preppie-adjacent than skater kid, yet it speaks to the same youthful demographic. (more…)