FREEPORT — It’s a little tried-and-true on bottom, a little millennial on top.

L.L.Bean announced Thursday that it had partnered with another company for the first time to put a new twist on its classic Bean boot, working with the Maine startup Flowfold to replace the boot’s leather uppers with the tough sailcloth that Flowfold is known for.

The new 6-inch small-batch boots are being manufactured in Brunswick from sailcloth cut in Lewiston.

“They are making roughly 156 boots per day for the next 30 days to keep up with demand,” said Flowfold co-owner James Morin, a Lewiston native. “It’s fair to say that once these sell out, customers will not have another opportunity to get the Flowfold design Bean boot — at least this season and for sure in these colors.”

L.L.Bean has made its iconic Bean boot since 1912 and had expected to make 1 million pairs last year in Lewiston and Brunswick.

Flowfold got its start in 2010 on Peaks Island and recently expanded into a 7,500-square-foot space in Gorham.

The small batch of Bean boots will have an upper made of Flowfold sailcloth. Photo by Cait Bourgault

The two companies have collaborated on a line of outdoor bags and gear since 2016.

Morin said Thursday’s news had him thinking about the relatively few years between when the company was selling wallets to tourists from a table on Commercial Street in Portland to working with L.L.Bean.

Back in November 2015, “we were three 26-year-old kids asking a $1.6 billion company to trust us,” he said. “They did, and we haven’t stopped trying to prove them right ever since.”

The new small batch boots retail for $139.

[email protected]

 

filed under: