The name GANT is synonymous with East Coast prep. Founded in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949, the company basically perfected the American shirt by making private label for J. Press, Brooks Brothers, the Yale Co-Op and many more. By the 1960’s (one could say the Take Ivy era), GANT was the shirt for students, popularizing the button-down on college campuses all over America. Since then the company has changed hands several times and has had its share of ups and downs, but recently it has been all ups, no downs.
A more recently focused GANT has established a great presence for its casual Rugger line (which the company launched in the 1970’s) everywhere from Scoop to Barneys Co-Op and in the process become one of the great revivals of the American heritage look. For spring / summer 2010 GANT looked to one of its own designers, Mr. Christopher Bastin, to further develop the Rugger range. Bastin (who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of classic American sportswear) literally combed through the company’s archives (not to mention vintage dealers and eBay) to infuse the collection with historically accurate detailing and fabrication. I stopped by GANT’s offices last week to get a sneak peek at the new offerings, and ultimately found out exactly what I’m going to be wearing next summer.
Many of the designs for the SS10 line are literally pulled from archival pieces collected over the past 60 years, like the faded Indian Madras to tasty primary colored polo shirts. Many details in the collection are historically significant, from the “diamond G” logo which used to be stamped onto the company’s shirts before GANT became its own brand, when it manufactured shirts for some of most prominent brands in the menswear, to the “locker loop” on the back of the button-down shirts that the company invented and even buttons that haven’t seen the light of day for forty years.
Below: “The Hugger” sure to make you tipsy in oxford cloth.
Below: a removed locker loop signified to the ladies that you were “taken.” Looks like (for better or worse) this shirt comes with a significant other.
Below: Selvage oxford cloth, rivaling smoking and drinking for the world’s best combination.
Below: The “diamond G” logo reborn.
In addition to the button-downs and polos seen here, the line also includes khaki pants, rugby shirts, tailored goods and some very nice looking outerwear all inspired by GANTs heritage. All-in-all GANT did it right, looking to its heritage and giving guys the best of both worlds, classic style with an updated fit.