Maus Frï¿½res S.A.
GANT is a formerly Swedish but currently Swiss clothing brand of American heritage launched in New Haven in 1949. The brand has since then been further developed, being influenced by European styles, and is now a global clothing business.
Gant offers a full range of sportswear for men and women including: knits, shirts, blouses, pants, jeans, jackets, skirts, dresses, sweaters, blazers, activewear, caps, socks, ties, bags and other accessories ï¿½ every single item reflecting the unique Gant combination of American casualness with European elegance. The Gant brand also incorporates Gant Boyï¿½s, Girlï¿½s and Baby collections as well as Time, Fragrance, Footwear, Home, Eyewear and Underwear licenses under the Gant brand name.
Today, Gant is distributed worldwide in 70 countries, through 590 Gant stores as well as a number of selected premium retailers.
By 31 January 2008, Maus Frï¿½res S.A. of Switzerland, had acquired 95.6 % of the Gant Company AB shares, which completed the take-over.
It all started as one man's vision: To create the perfect "Oxford Cloth" button-down shirt. This has helped to give Gant a place in fashion history. Bernard Gant, originally coming from Ukraine, moved in 1914 to New York with the desire to pursue "The American dream."
The start was modest enough, but sill indicative of what was to come.
Bernardï¿½s first job was sewing shirts collars in a sweatshop. His future wife was working for the same firm as a button and buttonhole specialist.
Their marriage a couple of years lager forged the familyï¿½s dedication to garment craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Bernard started the Gant family business together with a cousin in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1941. The company manufactured shirts on a subcontractor basis.
America was enjoying good times again and Bernard Gant sold exguisitely made shirts to some of the leading private labels in the country, such as Brooks Brothers, Manhattan shirts, and J. Press.
The quality was guaranteed by the manufacturerï¿½s discrete ï¿½Gï¿½ sewn into the corner of each shirt ï¿½ and many customers were going for the ï¿½Gï¿½ rather than the official label.
Understanding the basic spirit of America, Bernard Gant was designing shirts for active people. People who shared his dream ï¿½ and they were many.
Bernadï¿½s son Elliot, an Air Force captain, joined the business directly after World War II. Two years later, his brother Marty sacrificed a promising naval career to join the familyï¿½s booming business as well.
The Gant soon noticed that an increasing number of men were dressing less formally. Being well dressed without being dressed up was an idea very much to the Gantsï¿½ liking.
This was when they started entertaining the idea of a brand of their own.
In 1949, the Gant dared to take the leap and the Gant brand was launched.
Their first customer was the prestigious Paul Stewart store on Madison Avenue. The product was still shirts ï¿½ but the concept was totally new: shirts that were roomy, with pleats in the back, and a signature locker loop sewn in.
Another innovation was putting buttons on the collars, thus introducing the ï¿½button-down shirtï¿½. A classic was born, and the old specialties of Mr and Mrs Gant from their sweatshop days were finally married in an ingenious product.
The button-down sportswear shirt was an immediate hit.
The Gantsï¿½ retailing strategy was simple. They would sell only to the best store in town, and they would wait for that store to take their product. Usually, they did not have to wait very long.
Demand for the shirts was growing rapidly. As it was often manufactured in sportswear fabrics, the Gant shirt was considered ï¿½Preppyï¿½ and college kids soon clamored for it.
After a year, Gant shirts were being sold all over the United States.
Demand was further fueled by extensive advertising. The Gants advertised in magazines, especially the intellectual New York magazine; initially with full-page ads in color and later doublepage spreads.
The ads built on and helped define the New England ï¿½Waspï¿½ style ï¿½ up-market and not without snob appeal, but leisurely casual in a way that was uniquely American.
At one point in the 1960s, Gant was the second-largest shirt maker in the world.
The Gant family sold the label in 1967. It has since been owned by a number of large American corporations, most recently the Philips-Van Heusen Corporation.
Gantï¿½s success was too great to be confined to the U.S. alone.
In the early 1980s, a Swedish company, Pyramid Sportswear, was taken on as a master license with the rights to design a collection of its own and to market the brand initially in Sweden, and later on all over the world except in the U.S.
For two decades, the Swedish company gained worldwide recognition for its international Gant collections, which were expanded from shirts only to a wide range of sportswear.
The Swedish involvement had a very low profile.
All this time, Gant has been considered an American brand, always promoting the concept of the good life of the American East Coast, but also with an apparent influence of European refinement and sophistication. Itï¿½s the fusion of these worlds that forms todayï¿½s Gant. We call it American casualness and European elegance.
After some time, the international Gant collection surpassed its American counterpart.
In 1999, the Swedish team acquired the brand form the American owner, with the objective of realizing the vision of GANT as a global premium brand.
During 2001, Gant was reintroduced in the U.S.; three new Gant Stores were opened in Soho, NY, Bal Harbour and Boca Raton, Florida. At the same time, the Fifth Avenue Flagship Store was completely rebuilt. Customer response has been positive and the underlying potential in the U.S. market is deemed significant.
The U.S. reintroduction is a vital part of Gantï¿½s ambition to become a global brand. Gant has therefore installed a completely new U.S. organization and management team to support the continued U.S. expansion of the Gant Brand.
Gant is once again back in its home country.
Gant is a global premium lifestyle brand for men & women. Gantï¿½s values are based on the brandï¿½s authentic heritage form the founding of the company in the USA in 1949 to the development of the American brand form a European perspective. Both aspects being important in the establishment of the premium brand that Gant is today.
In 2006 Gant was quoted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and in March of 2008, Gant was delisted and bought by Maus Frï¿½res - a private Swiss company.
Gant has a history of strong international growth and is today established in over 70 countries through more than 330 Gant stores and a large number of selected premium retailers. In 2002, Gant headed east and entered the Russian market. Launches followed in Japan and China in 2004 and 2005, and during 2006, Gant was also launched in India, South Korea, Canada, Thailand and Brazil. In 2007 Gant was introduced to the markets in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Israel.
The Gant style is defined as modern sportswear that is in line with fashion trends while remaining classic.