Sometimes products validate the hiring of outside forces for heritage companies to recognize what they may have in their vaults just waiting to be re-discovered. Case in point is the “re-imagined” 1912 Duck Boot from the L.L. Bean Signature collection. “Alex Carleton, the ruggedly hip designer of Rogues Gallery, signed on recently to serve as the company’s first creative collaborator in its ninety-nine-year history. The label challenged him to retain the brand’s soul while jump-starting it for a new generation. Look no further than his shrewd reinvention of the original 1912 duck boot ($129). He replaced the leather upper with worn-in waxed cotton, making it the kind of boot you can just as easily wear on the streets of Manhattan as the coast of New England.” (gq)

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