According to today's Wall St Journal, the men on this site are all in style now. Vintage is now officially "in". I read this article with a feeling of ambivalence. 10 years ago, no one I knew had ever seen a bag like my Filson Travel Bag. Now, they sell it at Barney's. Well, I guess going mainstream is better than going bankrupt. If the companies handle it correctly and don't dilute the brands for the sake of sales growth, it should be ok. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703466704575490393103166572.html Note: if you don't have an online WSJ subscription and want to read the full article w/photos Google "Is L.L. Bean Driving the Runway?!" and click on the link. This works for all WSJ (and Barron's) content. Is L.L. Bean Driving the Runway?! By STEVE GARBARINOF. Martin Ramin for The Wall Street Journal Unbatten the hatches, folks: The Brawny Man is back. He's dressed for the elements, looking as rugged as a lumberjack—and also a tad pleased with himself. Yes, he can hunt, chop trees, mine gold and pull lobsters from frigid waters. But his oil-waxed knapsack of tricks has just grown: He's today's fashion icon. The Heritage-Hipster Matrix Our road map to the strange and crazy lovefest between new-school designers and old-school brands. His fisherman sweater is coming down the runways of Gucci and Jil Sander; his flannel shirts and Navy-style pea coats are for sale at Barneys (add a zero or two to the price). After years where a sexual ambiguity ruled, today's menswear designers are taking cues from yellow-paged copies of Field & Stream and L.L. Bean catalogs. Pioneering names like Barbour, Filson and Stetson are catchwords of the moment, while Gucci, Prada and Helmut Lang are sounding almost…passé. So-called "new heritage" brands, created by youthful designers and inspired by iconic outdoor apparel companies, are opening their doors with Gold Rush speed. They specialize in handcrafted, American-made togs and, more often than not, sales associates with perfectly pruned 1850s-style facial hair. While skinny ties and pointy shoes come in and out of style, the nostalgia-driven look isn't showing any signs of flagging. There's comfort to be found in the familiar. "During uneasy times, consumers are naturally drawn to items that are well-constructed and built to last," said Carl Chiara, director of brand concepts for Levi's. An abundance of clothing made in China and India and the United Arab Emirates has paved the way for a new fascination with clothes that are created in American factories. And everyone was bound to get a bit tired of that effete, tailored Italian designer "uniform" that the Pradas of the world have been pushing on men for the past decade. "When the economy fell apart, the Euro look of skinny black men's suits" did, too, said designer Michael Bastian, whose own line of rugged sportswear is heavy on shearling and gray flannel. It was only a matter of time before the pendulum swung toward a rough-and-tumble look that was unabashedly manly. Besides the re-emergence of L.L. Bean and Pendleton, other vintage brands such as Stetson, Woolrich, Levi's and Britain's J Barbour & Sons are having second comings, either independently or collaborating with high-end runway designers. (See chart.) Over the past couple of years, hipsters and hipster designers have been adopting the mystique surrounding outdoor wear brands. Now the classic brands are tapping the designers and forming partnerships with them. If the new nostalgists are profiting from heritage chic, it's only fair the look's forefathers benefit. A number of heritage brands are partnering with high-end, runway designers or upcoming labels to fortify their relevance. Cowboy-hat legend Stetson approached Albertus Swanepoel—who has collaborated with fashion designers like Carolina Herrera and Alexander Wang—to design a line of signature hats this fall, because "it keeps Stetson in the public eye," said Pam Fields, Stetson CEO. Century-and-a-half-old clothing company Barbour has been partnering with cutting-edge Japanese designer Tokihito Yoshida. Mr. Yoshida went into the company archives to create updated versions of the plaid-lined country staple. American outfitter J. Crew only debuted in 1983, yet the company has asserted itself as the behemoth of heritage purveyors and now carries in its clubby men's shops more than 40 traditional brands such as Red Wing work boots and Baracuta Harrington jackets (its website calls those labels its "design heroes"). The retailer also makes its own appropriations of ye-olde items such as Filson bags and Barbour's oil-waxed jackets (which they sell side by side with the originals). "You go into a designer store at this moment, and it's dead silent, but you enter one of the more traditional stores selling heritage brands and they're, like, buzzing," said Alex Carleton, a menswear designer who began his career at Polo Ralph Lauren. In 2003 he left his job at L.L. Bean to create his own nautical inspired sportswear line, Rogues Gallery. He is now the designer of L.L. Bean Signature, a newly launched line that offers a leaner, more modern take on the Freeport, Me.-based company's signature items. The heritage look is rooted in America, yet its revival is traceable to post-World War II Japan, when an enthusiasm for baseball and American movie stars caught on. The exaltation of "Made in America" tags have been steadily growing in Japan since then, resulting in the inclusion of tweeds and toggles in the recent collections at Japanese clothing stores Beams and United Arrows. Japanese label Comme des Garçons's designer Junya Watanabe has collaborated, over the past few years, with companies such as Brooks Brothers, Vanson Leathers and Woolrich. This year, for classic British brand Tricker's, he designed a white-soled Red Wing-like "Super Boot." In 2006, Japanese designer Daiki Suzuki took the Woolrich label and upgraded it into the Woolrich Woolen Mills line. American outdoor-wear forerunners like Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren's Rugby collegiate line are now being overshadowed by more durable, less logo-driven goods. "I've heard some people saying that the heritage revival is the death of luxury," said Mr. Bastian, the fashion designer. "But guys are just shopping differently." Yet another thing the Brawny Man can aim for: saving the American economy.