We still get a chuckle, every time we look at it. The kid, bundled up to the point of complete immobility. The bootlace, untied and treacherous as a banana peel. Everybody’s classic winter memory.
It was the cover of our Winter 1994 kids’ catalog. Maybe our favorite Lands’ End catalog cover of all time. How did artist David Shannon ever come up with the idea?
“I grew up in Spokane, Washington,” says David, the author of notable children’s books that include No, David! and How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball. “The winters there are long, cold and heavy. Bundling up was a complex and time-consuming endeavor. So I guess I was that kid in the snowsuit.”
“Snow down the pants was the worst,” remembers David. “You had to tuck in layers of clothing to keep snow from making contact with your skin while you were playing.”
What about the untied shoelace? “That’s what makes it funny – you know that now the whole bundling up process has to be dismantled and reassem-bled. You feel for the poor kid.”
(Of course, you also wonder what’s going to happen when he has to go to the bathroom.)
Our customers loved the cover. And so did the clients of Every Picture Tells a Story, the Los Angeles children’s art gallery which represents David’s work.
“Everyone wanted to buy it,” recalls co-owner Lois Sarkisian. “Our art collectors felt a genuine connection with what David had done. His use of acrylics – layered, rich, beautiful – show off his great technical skills and his artistic integrity. When you combine those with his sly sense of humor, you get an image that you remember always.”
David Shannon is just one of the notable artists who have created a cover for the Lands’ End kids’ catalogs over the years. Maurice Sendak, Mark Teague and Mary GrandPre (artist for the American version Harry Potter books) are among many others who also made wonderful contributions. For all of us at Lands’ End, it was like a continuous Christmas Eve, waiting for the latest artwork to arrive in its big, well-protected package. Our customers told us they and their children felt the same way, as they waited expectantly for each new issue of the catalog.
But nothing ever topped the kid in the snowsuit.