Next time you get a Lands' End catalogue in the mail, take a longer look. The company, first founded in 1963, is getting a fresh look thanks to new CEO Federica Marchionni. The Italian exec with a history of high fashion success has embarked on a journey to bring her global-chic perspective to the iconic American brand. She started by adding a beam of light to the lighthouse on the label's classic logo. "The ray is the most important because it shows where to go," Marchionni said when we caught up with her at Lands' End's New York headquarters. Scroll down to find out what you can expect as the brand charts new territory.
You were born in Italy and later became the president of Dolce & Gabbana. Now you're running a company based in Wisconsin. Are you a Midwest girl at heart?
"Actually, the company reminds me a lot of home. I grew up in a small town called Santa Severa, [pictured below], and it was such a warm community. I found that same warmth at the headquarters in Dodgeville. And when I learned that the founder, Gary Comer, was a sailor, I fully connected."
Of course! Lands' End started as a catalogue for yachting gear in 1963.
"Sailing is a passion of mine too. I have sailed through the Mediterranean, around southern France, and in Vietnam and Cambodia. When you're on a boat, you see the scenery differently."
Are you incorporating your world travels into the new Lands' End collection?
"In a sense. Our clothes are for modern-day explorers who know traveling can be a state of mind."
Do the kids clothes get the travel treatment too?
"Absolutely. I often think of my son, Gabriel. I love to read him The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, which is about a lighthouse that thrives despite technology. The world is big. I want him, and everyone, to feel that."
All pieces are available at landsend.com.