10 posts tagged "Gant"
Gant, the heritage American sportswear label known for its preppy threads, was founded in New Haven, Connecticut, over 60 years ago. Bought by a Swedish company in 1999, Gant has wended into and out of the spotlight, but the progress of the last few years—and the surging of interest in heritage Americana, especially in menswear—has seen the label make strides. The line now comprises three distinct entities, the namesake label, a special collection designed by CFDA Award-winner Michael Bastian, and the sportier Gant Rugger.
The world—not just America—is taking notice. Three new stores opened in the U.S. last year (in Boston, L.A., and Georgetown), following a year of investment in New York, where the longtime Fifth Avenue flagship was fully renovated and a new Bleecker Street boutique added. This, plus a subtle update to the label’s design vision has, according to reps, resulted in a doubling of U.S. sales figures. In 2013, plans are in order for locations in London, Stockholm, and Paris’ Le Marais.
2012 proved to be a year of firsts and new starts. Christopher Bastin, the Swedish creative director of Gant Rugger, took the reins at Gant as well. A new, super-charged campaign for Spring ’13 (above) will debut in the new year, with a lineup of talent more often associated with major European fashion houses: art direction by Baron & Baron, photography by Mikael Jansson, and styling by Joe McKenna. “We felt that Baron + Baron could give us a fresh perspective,” Bastin said, “But we know who we are and where we come from. I knew it would be foolish to rush things. American sportswear is about style, not fashion, so there are gentle shifts.”
And what of his Swedish background—has being immersed in Gant’s all-American archive given the creative director, well, a touch of Stockholm Syndrome? “I’m not a big fan of typical Scandinavian minimalistic aesthetics,” Bastin said. “I can appreciate the simplicity, but it’s not me. In my next life, I want to graduate from Yale and live in Vinegar Hill.”
The weather forecast remains uncertain, but hell or high water, I’m making for the beach this weekend—and if all goes according to plan, in a new suit, too. More and more labels are getting the message that guys don’t want knee-length trunks any more; cuts this season are slimmer and shorter. My favorites are turn-the-dial-up-even-further with wild colors and wilder prints (like iconic British artist Alan Aldridge’s lolly-licking series for the luxury line Orlebar Brown). My favorites, above.
Clockwise from top left: Vilbrequin morae sea urchin swim shorts, $230, available at MrPorter.com; Alan Aldridge for Orlebar Brown Bulldog classic beach short, $295, available at OrlebarBrown.com; Steven Alan North Print swim short, $105, available at StevenAlan.com; Saturdays Surf Grannis board short, $75, available at SaturdaysNYC.com; Gant by Michael Bastian side-stripe swim trunks, $125, available at Barneys.com
When menswear designer Michael Bastian began designing a collection for Gant last season, the rationale behind the merger seemed clear: A designer with a love of classic American sportswear and its idioms taking the reins at a classic American sportswear brand. (Gant is currently Swedish-owned, but never mind that.) And classic American sportswear, emphasis on the sporty, was exactly what they made.
But this season, Bastian and Gant are introducing a women’s collection as counterpoint to the men’s, and the Gant girl—one modeled on Bastian’s publicist, the chic woman-about-town Eugenia Gonzalez Ruiz-Olloqui—is no ladies’ lacrosse player. “It would have been very easy to make her a boiled-down version of what we’re doing for guys and that, I think, would be completely the wrong way to go,” Bastian said. “That, to me, would make her be this guy’s little sister, not his girlfriend. I don’t think most women are so excited by that.”
But a nouveau bombshell? That could be exciting. “I think a lot of younger girls haven’t played around with that persona so much,” he says of bombshell dressing, which strikes the curvier, fifties-inspired note prevalent in the European womenswear collections. For Spring ’11, Bastian took as his icon the seductress to end all seductresses, Marilyn Monroe. “I really wanted it to be about the guys in Marilyn Monroe’s life,” Bastian says of his inspiration this season. “Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller—we kinda smashed them together into one kind of jock-y, kind of nerdy guy.” The lover and the vamp are on display in the new video teaser Bastian shot in Miami for the collection, seen exclusively on Style.com. Watch them courting in Bastian-designed finery below—and then head for the line’s presentation on September 15, which takes their Niagara Falls honeymoon for its scene.
Lane Crawford, Hong Kong’s must-visit department store, celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. So how better to celebrate than with unmatchable exclusive products from the editors, stylists, and designers it’s wooed over the years? The Burberry trench and the Ming dynasty chair are two of the “heritage” items that will be getting the touch-up treatment—like Anna Dello Russo’s take on the trench, left. [WWD]
What happens when Michael Bastian—one of menswear’s top talents—takes on women’s? As this preview of his women’s collection for Gant (which his publicist and pal Eugenia Gonzalez Ruiz-Olloqui wore to the CFDAs this year) shows, it marries prepster sensibility with a little Monroe glamour. We’ll be curious to see more. [WWD]
The Internet is in an uproar over the name of one of the items from Rodarte’s new cosmetics collection for MAC—”Juarez,” a factory town in Mexico with notoriously high rape and murder rates. The people spoke, the sisters (and their corporate backers) listened: “We recognize that the violence against women taking place in Juarez needs to be met with proactive action. We never intended to make light of this serious issue and we are truly sorry,” the designers said in a statement; the names will be changed before the September release. [Vogue U.K.]
And fire up your iPhone 4 (with its splendid new bumper): New York magazine rounded up the ten best fashion apps, including, ahem, our own. We’re blushing. [NYMag]
First The Row got eyewear, and now the Olsens are at it again, debuting two styles of specs for their Elizabeth and James line (pictured). In fairness, they are perennially bespectacled, so it makes sense. [WWD]
Menswear designer Michael Bastian is dipping a toe into the waters of womenswear with a women’s counterpart to his Gant by Michael Bastian line, which he’ll show in a coed presentation with men’s this New York fashion week. The Gant customer is “more of a fashion girl, not a classic preppy,” Bastian says. [WWD]
Lacoste helps fight the good fight with a new promotion to benefit Doctors Without Borders: Take any old polo to Lacoste’s NYC store on June 3, and get a certificate for a new one—plus the brand will donate $10 to the nonprofit, to boot. This is tied into the USA show Royal Pains, but try not to hold that against it. [Stylelist]
The Spice Girls are reportedly trying to reunite for a new tour, but Victoria Beckham apparently has moved on and doesn’t want to participate. It’s almost as if she had something else going on! [Jezebel]
And style icon Lou Doillon adds another gig to her résumé: photographer. Her first solo show has just bowed at Paris’ Galerie W. [Dazed Digital]