Gitman Printage | Gitman’s Greatest Hits

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Not since the 1960’s have there been this many American based shirt brands. And yet, despite the variety of labels attached to them, never have so many shirts looked exactly alike.

We don’t mean to be overly critical, we do understand that there are only so many mills a shirt company can buy from, only so many different color combinations they can choose from, only so many ways they can reconfigure a plaid or a paisley or a polka dot. And of course, any company attempting to create clothing in America deserves our support. We just wish more companies would approach their design like Gitman Vintage does.

The Gitman brand is not young — it was founded in 1978, but the company’s younger-leaning incomparably creative sub-label Gitman Vintage has managed to carve out a place as arguably the most interesting shirt company in America today. Much of this can attributed to GV’s fabric development process. Lead by Chris Olberding, GV doesn’t merely pick stock fabrics (although it does offer your standard stripes, solids, etc.) but it works with designers to develop its own proprietary patterns. The resulting motifs range from the colorful, to the cheeky, to the downright comical. Whether he’s resurrecting an archival pattern, riffing on a cartoon animal, or even re-appropriating an Instagram photo, Chris’ design process is best described as nimble. We were fortunate enough to have Chris speak with us about some his favorite patterns, providing some insight into the new vitality that marks Gitman Vintage year after year.

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Max Gitman and his sons – the brothers Alfred and Sheldon. Photo-shop prints, circa 1957 for 2013.
opening-ceremony-gitman-brothers-leopard-print-shirt-03
Back in 2010 while showing SS2011, we created a capsule called Jungle Brothers. Take a leopard print and line the collar and cuff with cheetah print, and vice-versa. We also added a classic camo print and lined it with bright orange. Needless to say that not many in Europe got the joke of the bright orange, nor the nuance of the animal mash-up, but it did well for us and Opening Ceremony, and was worn by a diverse crew.
Not only donned by Drake (Hey Lebron)
Not only donned by Drake (Hey Lebron)
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But also by Mr. Kamoshita of United Arrows.
We took this theme as far as we could a couple seasons later with AW13 where we both fragmented and faux-furred it up. Snow Leopard Head Print.
We took this theme as far as we could a couple seasons later with AW13 where we both fragmented and faux-furred it up.
Snow Leopard Head Print.
Snow Leopard Cleric Collar
Snow Leopard Cleric Collar
Full faux fur Snow Leopard
Full faux fur Snow Leopard.
Along the way of the hunted, we had our share on takes on camo. Leopard/Camo reversible for Tres Bien Shop.
Along the way of the hunted, we had our share on takes on camo.
Leopard/Camo reversible for Tres Bien Shop.

 

Zebras as Camo for Spring/Summer 2012.
Zebras as Camo for Spring/Summer 2012.
Kimono camo (SS2013) with the same print on some Mark McNairy shoes.
Kimono camo (SS2013)
....with the same print on some Mark McNairy shoes.
….with the same print on some Mark McNairy shoes.
Along with animal and camo, pin-ups are the other de riguer prints GV has played with. Pin-ups for summer… Sailor girl on chambray for SS2013
Along with animal and camo, pin-ups are the other de riguer prints GV has played with.
Pin-ups for summer… Sailor girl on chambray for SS2013
Pin-ups for winter (AW2012)
Pin-ups for winter (AW2012)
And their Tom of Finland-esque counterpart.
And their Tom of Finland-esque counterpart.
Prints came to a cosmic explosion for our 5th year anniversary party which showcased Spring / Summer 2014. Not just with a continuation on a variation of pin-ups… Shibuya Girls
Prints came to a cosmic explosion for our 5th year anniversary party which showcased Spring / Summer 2014. Not just with a continuation on a variation of pin-ups…
Shibuya Girls
Call Me
Call Me
Florals… Gitman Vintage x Unionmade x Liberty
Florals…
Gitman Vintage x Unionmade x Liberty
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise
Flamingo Flower
Flamingo Flower
SS14 twin-sets as seen in PURPLE Magazine.
SS14 twin-sets as seen in PURPLE Magazine.
Hibiscus flower print sublimated with pin-ups on the petals.
Hibiscus flower print sublimated with pin-ups on the petals.
GV x Baron Von Fancy SS14
GV x Baron Von Fancy SS14
Artists wearing GV – Maurizio Cattelan in SS14 Chiquita print.
Artists wearing GV – Maurizio Cattelan in SS14 Chiquita print.
GV x Mister Mort AW14… Star of David and Versace meets Judaica
GV x Mister Mort AW14… Star of David and Versace meets Judaica
In AW14, we reached a new state of engagement with prints, taking an Instagram and turning it into our Pottery print.  Instagram photo from Terry Ellis (of Beams Japan) of his extensive Mingei pottery collection (kitchen cabinet)
In AW14, we reached a new state of engagement with prints, taking an Instagram and turning it into our Pottery print.
Instagram photo from Terry Ellis (of Beams Japan) of his extensive Mingei pottery collection (kitchen cabinet)
Repeat rescale for shirt
Repeat rescale for shirt
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With so much pottery being sold at menswear stores, we challenged the quip that you can’t wear pots and ventured out just to meet these pot-heads, both in Tokyo…
And in Okinawa.
And in Okinawa.

We could discuss the 3-d print here, but I’ll stop…..


Comments on “Gitman Printage | Gitman’s Greatest Hits

    Emma Howardon February 9, 2015 @ 5:35 PM:

    I especially like the Bird of Paradise,Flamingo Flower ( Anthurium) and Orchids on the shirts and shorts.

    Andrew Bentleyon February 10, 2015 @ 7:36 AM:

    One of absolute favourite shirts is a GV. Not just for the design but the indsustrial grade fabric, which will last forever and gets better and better. Need to buy them in the sales though !

    Peteron February 17, 2015 @ 5:35 AM:

    I’ve got a bunch of GV shirts, and fortunately the M fits me well. I do with the armholes were cut a tad higher and the waist a little less blousy. I think GV would do well to introduce a neck/arm size range for their basics, too.

    I only buy mine on sale, too. Hard to justify $200 plus for what you get. (great fabrics, but indifferent button attachment and floppy plackets)

    Sorry these sound like a list of complaints — they’re not, I love GV a lot but see where they can be improved.

    George S.on March 2, 2015 @ 1:43 PM:

    Gitman makes some nice shirts, but at least for their recent summer short sleeve shirts they have an absolutely ASININE price…for what is in essence rather thin cotton shirts. Nice patterns (3-d print is pretty cool), but no way in hell worth the $235 it was listed for. I laughed out loud.

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