Gant to Celebrate 70th Anniversary in Overseas Markets

Gant is gearing up to celebrate its 70th anniversary, but the festivities will be centered around its strongest markets in Europe and Asia rather than where it all started: Connecticut.
The brand traces its roots to 1949 when Bernard Gantmacher, an immigrant from the Netherlands, and his two sons, Marty and Elliot, opened a shirt factory in New Haven, Conn., and began selling a button-down shirt to the broader American market. It was embraced early on by the Ivy League students at the East Coast universities and soon became a key part of the preppy uniform.
But for the last decade, the brand has been owned by the family-owned Swiss company Maus Frères, which also owns Lacoste and Aigle. Its net sales in 2014 were $ 1 billion. And while it has a presence in 70 countries and operates 93 stores, its U.S. distribution is limited to mainly e-commerce, and four full-price stores and two outlets.
Under former chief executive officer Patrik Nilsson, the brand three years ago set into motion a plan to reintroduce Gant to its home country. But those efforts largely failed and the company is retrenching and refocusing its energies internationally.
Nilsson exited the brand last June and Brian Grevy, the chief

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Gant Launches Tech Prep Shirt Range

LONDON — Gant is tapping into technical fibers with the launch of its men’s tech prep range, WWD has learned.
“We thought we had an opportunity here of bringing innovation into products that still look very preppy,” said Gant president and chief executive officer Patrik Nilsson.
Specially woven fibers offer quick-dry, breathable and cooling effects. Garments are made from fabrics that are treated with a fast-drying and anti-absorbant finish to regulate body temperature.
The 23-piece collection includes shirting and knitwear. Key pieces include a chambray shirt in a classic button-down collar style, a fitted check shirt, a blue stripe shirt, as well as a pique jersey style. The range is priced from 85 pounds, or $ 106, for a shirt to 150 pounds, or $ 188, for a sweater. It will be available for purchase this month in stores and the brand’s web site.
Nilsson noted that 20 percent of the brand’s total business is from shirting and believes that it will grow to 30 percent by 2020. He said that the company tested the shirts while running a company relay race and marathon at Bellmanstafetten in Stockholm. “We had over 200 people from the company run,” noted Nilsson. “And all of us ran in those shirts so

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Gant Opens Personal Shopping Lounge at NY Office

Gant is cutting out the middleman.
The Swiss brand known for its dress shirts has created the Gant Lounge, a personal styling service at its Wall Street offices, to better serve the needs of its customers. 
Shoppers can go online and book an appointment to stop by the showroom before or after work, during lunch or at any convenient time.
According to the web site: “We believe choosing clothes is a personal thing — and so is our approach to service. That’s why we created the Gant Lounge. We offer one-on-one consultations to help pinpoint your unique style and are delighted to answer any questions you may have. We have experts on hand to help with color combinations and garment pairing, while you enjoy a complimentary cocktail or play a game of pool. We do the hard work for you, so you can get your shopping done quickly and easily.”
Orders placed at the lounge can be shipped to an office or home for free.
The service, which the brand is touting as “the next generation of personal shopping,” had a soft launch this month and has already booked 75 appointments, according to the brand.
“The Gant Lounge was built on the simple premise that consumers

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GANT x Future: Iconic Retailer Partners with Design Students

GANT “Oxford Fitted Shirt” styled by Sophia Charles. Photographed by Danielle Rueda

Steve Jobs and Leo Tolstoy shared a surprising creative belief. The simplest things are the hardest to master. “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make something simple,” said Jobs. This fall, in the heart of San Francisco, a Menswear Styling class has been working on a project unlike any other in the industry: reinventing the classic white button-down. Except this isn’t an ordinary school project but a collaboration between the iconic US retailer GANT and the Academy of Art University School of Fashion. This unique engagement marked the first time the brand has partnered with an educational institution. The one-of- a-kind incentive is having their work showcased at the GANT flagship store in San Francisco. What a great experience!


GANT “Oxford Fitted Shirt” styled by Teresa Tran, modeled by Red Thompson, makeup by Sean Stahl. Photographed by Vince Aung

Eleven senior styling student were given a GANT shirt and the liberty to reinterpret it for a lookbook. The only direction was to focus on the versatility of the garment without having it resemble another line. Every step of the process was in the hands of the students. In an interview with Fashion School Daily, the Assistant Director of Styling in the School of Fashion, Flore Morton stated that she "wanted students to build full stories, investigate brands, and think like designers.” The students turned for inspiration to the brand’s stylish present and captivating heritage.


GANT “Oxford Fitted Shirt” styled by Nhu Dao, modeled by Red Thomspon, makeup by Thu Conteras, Hair by Stuart Wong. Photographed by Gyuho Park

GANT was founded in 1949 in New Haven, Connecticut. It has since expanded globally beyond menswear into other market segments creating a name for itself as a premier lifestyle brand with aims to increase its reach by 2020 under the new direction of global CEO Patrik Nilsson. GANT has originally been associated with effortless Ivy League style and quality tailored shirts. In addition to the classic sportswear heritage GANT line they’ve also launched GANT Diamond G and GANT Rugger, contemporary lines reflecting diverse aesthetics.


Customized GANT Rugger “Kick Ass Oxford Printed Block Shirt” styled by Hoilee Heung. Photographed by Mariya Stangl.

Back to the earlier simplicity discourse. Tolstoy argued that “the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Students had to start from clean slate. Fangdi Li opted to use the GANT Rugger Indigo denim shirt for her nocturnal vision: draping of the shirt on the body in a linear way over a black hoodie for a restructured silhouette. Teresa Tran kept the focus on layering possibilities. She infused vintage pieces with the GANT shirt that was accented with accessories influenced by the subcultures of the film “This is England”. Sophia Charles drew inspiration from the GANT Instagram account and the French film “La Haine” for her minimalist yet bold version with accessorized with electric red tape. Overall, the results showcased GANT adaptability and immense talent of the Academy students.

GANT “Oxford Fitted Shirt” styled by Sophia Charles, modeled by Keoni Kai, hair and makeup by Jessica Katelynn Clark. Photographed by Gabriel Isak

The Academy is the only American school with an accredited styling program! It seems like a natural fit for the school and the brand, both of whom focus on quality, innovation and laying a foundation for a more fashionable future. For the creative director Christopher Bastin, it’s all about legacy, “having a legacy is something that sets you apart and gives you authenticity and credibility. And, most importantly, it gives you a platform and security as a brand.” This pioneering collaboration also benefited Fashion Journalism students who were assigned to follow the process closely and report on it via various outlets. Stephan Rabimov, director of Social Media Center and Fashion Journalism, commented: “Opportunities like this benefit all involved. Our students loved working with GANT. We salute the GANT team for their visionary leadership and look forward to providing more professional experiences that are not available at any other institution.”


Styling processes of Fangdi Li (left), Nhu Dao (center) and Karina Widjaja (right).

The finalist looks from the GANT x Academy of Art collaborations will be presented at GANT’s San Francisco flagship store at 552 Hayes Street on January 19, 2017, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Gant Relocates Regent Street Space, Launches New Store Concept

LONDON — After almost seven years at the same address on Regent Street, Gant has crossed the road and moved into a space formerly occupied by Hugo Boss.
The new store, at 184-186 Regent Street, spans 4,449 square feet across two floors and is located between Hamley’s toy store and Kate Spade.
Gant chief executive officer Patrik Nilsson said he prefers the new location, called it the “sunnier side of the street with 60 percent more traffic.”
He also said the new location was a better space, adding that 60 percent of the products stocked in the store had been selected based on research the company had conducted.
The brand has implemented a new store concept, shifting from an “American lifestyle” to a more “cosmopolitan and sophisticated” aesthetic, with plans to roll out the same approach to its other locations globally. The store’s interiors include movable oak furniture and brass fixtures, with the aim of giving it a more contemporary appeal compared with the previous setup, which was fixed.
“We’ve used the oak cut, which is also taken from the history we have,” said chief marketing officer, Brian Grevy.
“But we also wanted to have a space that was smart. Actually the science behind going into this new

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Gant Embarking on a Major Rebranding

Gant wants to be loved again in its home country.
The company, which was founded in 1949 in New Haven, Conn., by Bernard Gantmacher and his wife, has over the last decade or so been more popular overseas than it has been in the U.S. It’s even no longer truly American, being controlled by the family-owned Swiss company Maus Frères — which also owns Lacoste and Aigle — since 2008.
The brand today has nearly no presence in the U.S. But if new president and chief executive officer Patrik Nilsson has his way, that’s about to change.
RELATED STORY: Gant Hires Agencies to Increase Wholesale Sales >>
In an exclusive interview with WWD at Gant’s recently opened U.S. headquarters at 100 Wall Street, Nilsson, who spent 23 years at Adidas before joining Gant AB in April 2014, laid out his plans to take back the American market.
“We say that Gant was born in the U.S. and raised in Europe,” Nilsson said. “It’s American sportswear but with European sophistication.”
The brand has a presence in 70 countries with 552 stores and 4,000 points of sales. Its net sales in 2014 were $ 1 billion, Nilsson said.
While its market share in Europe is solid, it’s the U.S. where

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