Maine is famous for a lot of things—lobster and moose, innumerable pine-dotted islands, a certain salty authenticity. But high fashion? Not so much. The state’s stalwart brand, L.L. Bean, while a titan of outdoor wear, is known more for its chamois shirts and weatherproof parkas than cutting-edge style. All that changed last February when Todd Snyder, the celebrated menswear designer and four–time Council of Fashion Designers of America Menswear Designer of the Year nominee, sent Bean boots strutting down the runway during New York Fashion Week. The Todd Snyder x L.L. Bean collection elevated such Bean mainstays as the duck boot (Snyder’s sport a snazzy orange lug sole) and puffer coat, printed with a playful paint-by-number watercolor of Mount Katahdin. It created a sensation, from the Big Apple to Freeport, and marked the first-ever such collaboration in the heritage brand’s 108-year history
Todd was thrilled by the reception, especially in Maine. “The fact that we made the Portland Press Herald was huge,” he says. “That we made the cut in a local paper meant more to me, actually, than getting in The New York Times.” Now fans of fashion can follow the buzz to Kennebunkport, where Todd recently partnered with Hidden Pond, Tim Harrington’s rustic-luxe retreat, to design one of the resort’s Treetop Lodges.
Nestled among the property’s 60 acres of birch forest, The From Away Lodge (so-called as a nod to Todd’s Iowa roots and flatlander status) offers 1,100 square feet, with two sartorially inspired bedrooms and baths. Todd teamed with local interior designers Louise Hurlbutt and Krista Stokes to create a refuge that feels stylishly serene without being too studied. Step through the front door (the blaze orange of a hunter’s watch cap), and one thing is immediately clear: This is not your granddad’s camp. The entryway is decked in custom camouflage wallpaper and pops of hunter’s orange in an upholstered bench and vintage lamp, an effect that is woodsy but hip.
“It greets you with such unexpected punch and optimism and really lets you know you are in for something special,” says Krista.
The living room is layered in sumptuous textures, from a thick New Zealand wool rug underfoot to the oversized pillows on the daybed wearing fabric from Todd’s fall line in cashmere and wool and patterns such as herringbone and chalk stripe. A gold starburst chandelier lends a hint of glam, a feminine touch that keeps it from feeling like “your husband’s man cave,” Todd quips.
A pair of Danish midcentury modern chairs clad in Scotch plaid are topped with shearling pillows and flank a coffee table arrayed with vintage tomes on fashion art and rock ’n’ roll (Avedon, Chanel, Dylan). A well-stocked bar cart looks primed to provide potent libations. A Dark and Stormy, perhaps? It would be Todd’s first choice. Throughout the space, artwork by Maine artists from Corey Daniels Gallery in Wells adds local context and visual intrigue. The ambiance is handsome, masculine, a bit moody, like the quarters of a dapper sportsman, maybe even the designer himself, who grew up hunting and fishing and looks right at home. The place even smells delicious—of pine and wood smoke from the candles Todd commissioned from Sea Love Candles to give the lodge a signature scent.
The furnishings are a mix of new and vintage finds, many scored by Gracie Alexander of Hurlbutt Designs, who also coordinated the upholstery and “honed in on the overall vibe,” Krista says admiringly. For the bedrooms, Todd handpicked antique kilims and Persian rugs from ABC Carpet & Home that were cut into custom patchworks and reassembled by a weaver in Brooklyn, Todd shares, flipping over the carpet to show off the seamless work. It makes a nice metaphor for the entire project—old meets new, blended into a wholly unique fabric. Two gas fireplaces keep things toasty, while both indoor and outdoor showers let you get as close to nature as you dare. Off the bedrooms, cozily appointed screened porches welcome the outdoors in and look the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee.
“It was a lot of work,” says Todd. “But it is really gratifying. You do a show and it’s done in 15 minutes. It’s nice to see something that feels more permanent.” Todd recalls how honored he was to visit the L.L. Bean archives in Bean’s historic Freeport home. (The archives are not open to the public much less shared with those “from away.”) He notes that the prototypes of Leon Leonwood’s rugged outdoor wear, created over a century ago, remain evident in the company’s designs today. “These are heirlooms,” Todd says. “They last forever and ever. People send things in. ‘My great-grandfather used to wear this.’ Boots from the 1930s, still in great shape!”
Like those iconic designs, The From Away lodge at Hidden Pond feels like an instant classic, a bespoke respite in the Maine woods that will doubtless leave you feeling relaxed, reinvigorated, and perhaps even a tad more stylish than before. “I’m still soaking it all in,” Todd says with a smile. “I never want to leave.”