By  on May 23, 2013

When Gary Comer, one of the founders of Lands’ End, started the business, he wanted to combine his work with his passion for sailing. Inspired by his hobby of racing sailboats, Comer left his copy writing job at Young & Rubicam and went to work for Murphy & Nye Sailmakers in Chicago in 1962. He and the owner, Richard Stearns, decided they would start another business together as partners.


Comer believed that his sailing customers — who were buying sails from Murphy & Nye — would eagerly purchase other sailing equipment. In the fall of 1962, he bought sailboat fittings and advertised them in a new magazine called One Design Yachtsman. The following spring, Comer, Stearns, Comer’s close friend Buck Halperin and two of Stearns’ employees incorporated Lands’ End Yacht Stores, working rent-free out of a basement in an old building in Chicago. They began a mail-order business, selling such products as racing sailboat equipment, duffle bags, rain suits, sweaters and other clothing.

To unlock this article, subscribe to WWD below.

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus