Few in menswear do collaborations better than Todd Snyder. Military-inspired Timex watches, colorful Champion sweats, and funky New Balance sneakers are just a few of the long-term partnerships the designer has become known for. His latest partnership with L.L.Bean, which drops October 26, is his modern riff on outdoor gear based on the brand’s 107-year history based in Maine.
“It’s fun to pull the curtain back, explore the archives, and create something fresh that’s reminiscent of a classic,” says Snyder, an Iowa native. He is often the first to propose a collaboration and this was one of the first ideas he had in 2011 when he started his eponymous brand.
“A lot of times, it’s me going after brands I love,” he says. “I spent years trying to get Champion and L.L.Bean to work with me.” Judging from the number of styles included, it looks like both brands are putting their full force behind this long-anticipated line.
The collection contains more than 50 styles, including statement tees, headwear, and outerwear. Standout pieces include fun, kitschy sweaters, chunky shirt jackets, and a pebbled-leather update to L.L.Bean’s iconic duck boots.
Snyder’s inspiration for the line came on a research trip to L.L.Bean’s archives in Freeport, ME., where he found inspiration in a picture of the founder. “I was going back through the archives at Bean and seeing old photos of the founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, in his hunting gear,” he says. “He had this very authentic aesthetic that was both dapper and down to Earth.”
He also spoke with locals on that trip and they eventually helped him come up with the line’s name: “From Away.” In Maine, you’re either a Maine-ah (a native) or you’re “from away” (an out-of-towner). It’s the kind of thoughtful insight that’s also expressed throughout the collaboration.
It’s fun to pull the curtain back, explore the archives, and create something fresh that’s reminiscent of a classic.
As an extension of Snyder’s own aesthetic and impeccable taste, his flagship store in New York’s Madison Square Park also features other brands. Inside, it contains a Moscot eyewear boutique, watches curated by Hodinkee, and a full hair studio featuring Aesop products.
Snyder notes that ultimately the most successful brand relationships are based on trust in his creative interpretation. “They understand that I’m not here to change their brand or create something super out of the box,” he says. “I want to find pieces that I think are special or deserve to be refreshed and add my twist to it.”