New designer to create L.L. Bean Signature line

FREEPORT -- L.L. Bean has hired a designer who worked for Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch and founded the Rogues Gallery line of men's clothing to create its new L.L. Bean Signature line.

The Maine-based retailer says chief designer Alex Carleton will take L.L. Bean's iconic style elements and give them a modern fit and style. The new look is meant to be hipper, but not so radical as to be indistinguishable from L.L. Bean's roots in flannel, khakis and rubber-soled hunting shoes.

A decade ago, L.L. Bean introduced a line called Freeport Studio targeting professional women that sought to distance itself from Bean's relaxed, laid-back line. It eventually faded away.

Spokeswoman Carolyn Beem says this time will be different. She says Carleton has worked previously for L.L. Bean and understands the brand's hunting and fishing roots and its traditional customer base.