Every time September and October come around, eager autumn-enthusiasts (like ourselves, for instance) start flocking to one store and one store only: L.L. Bean. Specifically, these crunchy leaves-and pumpkin spice loving-humans are looking for the classic L.L. Bean duck-boot that look as great on hikes as it does on the city pavement.
This wasn’t always the case. While L.L. Bean’s boots have been around for, like, a million years (OK, since 1911), it wasn’t until 2011 that the outdoorsy hiking look was in vogue. And, four years later, it’s still an old reliable when it comes to cold weather fashion.
If you want proof, here’s what happens when you search #llbeanboots on Instagram:
The L.L. Bean boot has become such a fall/winter go-to that every year since, the company has sold out of the classic shoe. This year is no exception. If you head online in search of the iconic tan, shearling-lined boot and don’t see your size, you’re looking at a January delivery. Or later.
But, why? Since its popularity has only risen with time, you’d think the brand would eventually be prepared for this kind of demand. Except L.L. Bean does business a little differently. Rather than outsourcing production, all their boots are made and sourced locally. The assembly and sewing is done by hand in their 170,000-square-foot factory. Each boot is made with thought and care, and it takes about 85 minutes. It may take a while —but it’s for a reason that makes the boots well worth the investment.
Even so, the company is making more boots this year than they have literally ever before. They’re set to hit half a million pairs, over double what they made back in 2005.
Plus, the company doesn’t want to rev up production too quickly, because what if demand ever dies down? However, Eric Smith, a public relations rep for the brand, is optimistic:
Now, anyone up for a hike?
(Images via Instagram)