So...L.L. Bean's first store in the OS (in Garden City Center, Cranston to be exact) is officially open for biz today. And I hear people were lining up last night, around 9pm , for today, especially because LLB is giving out gift cards to the first 200 peeps in line. One lucky individual will get the coveted $500 gc. (If it can't be me, I hope it's YOU!)
I wasn't on line last night, but I did get an invite to a lovely pre-Grand Opening reception (catered by another Garden City fav Bistro 22) yesterday afternoon on the side lawn. Loved the nods to L.L. Bean's roots in Maine (the Maine blueberries in the pic above for one), the sheer variety of food & drink options, and how pretty everything looked. (The attention to detail was totes obvious.) Another highlight was getting my very own nautical tote, designed especially for the Cranston opening. It will hence forward be referred to as 'the Cranston tote' and it will also be my go-to bag of choice indefinitely. #Obsessed
*Anyone who knows me IRL will tell you that besides coffee and food, two of my other lifelong passions are shopping & style and celebs & pop culture. You might be asking - What does this have to do with L.L. Bean? Only EVERYTHING! To prove my point, here's a short list of chic celebs who have been spotted with totes and more from Bean: Reese Witherspoon, Todd Oldham (Seen his RISD exhibit yet? Tick tock, it ends Sept 11th.), Gwyneth Paltrow, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (a true icon - RIP), Julia (Roberts if you need a last name), and Chloe Sevigny.
Of course the outside of the store is eye-catching and spectacular, with that famous (and ginormous) boot, with it's very own hashtag (#llbeanboot), the paddle handles at the front entrance, and the brightly colored kayaks hanging in the front. (Maybe you've also seen the 'boot mobile' tooling around town? Part boot, part truck, 100% awesomeness.) Now, all of this is fantastic, but I actually haven't gotten to the absolute best part of the story - the merch.
Me? Sure, I have my 'Cranston tote', but I saw so much other stuff I want to go back for, including their signature bad-weather boots (that my FB friend Christine tells everyone to buy early because come winter, they are usually sold out), their fisherman sweater (Another item that is sooo classic and preppy by way of outdoorsy that absolutely everyone needs to own one.), dog treats and accessories (for Louie and Duke), some of their coffee, and their all-weather door mats (b/c bloggers like a neat house too darn it).
Yeah, I could go on, gushing about the $29.99 backpacks for back to school or the mountain bikes or even the selection of Go Pro's. What you need to know right now tho is that I brought along someone who usually shops strictly designer and high end (Seriously!) and as of yesterday afternoon, he's become a big (L.L.) Bean convert. He was beyond impressed with everything from a pair of great winter boots in suede to workout clothes, quilted jackets, camp shirts, and cargo pants, both the quality and how reasonably priced everything was. That's saying a lot, right? Cool beans.
Ciao for Now,