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Iconic Prep Brand is Coming Home

Hello-hello, how wonderful to see Wednesday already, here at the Prepatorium the week is simply flying by.

We begin with a look at a once-iconic American brand, GANT.  For those not familiar with the company, Michael Williams at A Continuous Lean describes it succinctly:

“The name GANT is synonymous with East Coast prep.”

Below, two vintage ads show the company’s signature item, the GANT button-down.

Courtesy Gant

Some readers may recall the custom described in the Urban Daddy post below:

“Gant even invented the locker loop—that little coat-hook-friendly strip of fabric on the back of your shirt that your high school girlfriend cut off your lucky oxford to let all your classmates know you were taken, and maybe even going steady. (You kept the loop, just in case.)”

The company has been owned by a Swedish firm since 1999, there are 300 GANT stores all over the world and the company recently opened a GANT Rugger store (on Bleecker); Rugger targets a younger, sportier demo. Below, a look inside the new store.

GQ.com

Here is an image from the company’s UK site, better showing the line’s classic aesthetic.

Courtesy Gant

The good news? Designer Michael Bastian is doing a GANT line for women, in addition to the GANT menswear collection launching this fall.

John Aquino/WWD

The women’s line is being introduced to buyers at New York Fashion Week next month. WWD had an exclusive look at the group in this story, here are two more looks from the Spring 2011 collection.

We have known about the upcoming launch for some time, but hadn’t seen any pieces from the collection until the story ran in WWD.

“For his first outing, Bastian didn’t turn his back on Gant’s preppy Americana roots. Instead, the launch collection is preppy with a sexy attitude, from a seersucker dress with lace overlay — “I thought it had a good-girl/bad-girl dynamic” — to a cropped and boxy shirt that could have come straight from a boyfriend’s wardrobe…”

Also offering a look at the upcoming products, this story from The Cut.

Courtesy Photos via The Cut

In their interview with the designer, Mr. Bastian was asked about his favorite designers.

“The designer I always reference in my head is Perry Ellis, back when he was alive. People forget that at his peak, he was right up there with Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Calvin was always the sexy one, Ralph was classic, and Perry slid down the middle — a little bit cleaner, simpler, but still luxurious. No one has stepped into those shoes.”

We tend to concur with that assessment.

The men’s line debuting this month carries traditional lines and prep-positive motifs.

David Rinella via GQ

The brand is gaining traction in the US, below we see Rachel Bilson in a GANT blazer, part of a photo spread in Page Six magazine.

Sheryl Nields for Page Six Magazine

We look forward to seeing the complete women’s line during Fashion Week. For an overview of GANT’s history and heritage, click here. To see Mr. Bastian’s runway collection from this spring’s Fashion Week, click here.

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A few other Bits and Bytes:

  • Chanel is using FNO (Fashion’s Night Out, Sept. 10) to launch a collection of khaki nail polishes, seen below.  (With apologies to our Facebook Fans.)

Courtesy Images via Teen Vogue

  • We have an early look at this year’s Bergdorf Goodman Christmas ornaments, including James the Doorman. (True confession: despite their rather commercial nature, we have collected several of these over the years from varying retail emporiums. Oh, the horror.)

Courtesy Photo via WWD

  • And finally, we love seeing London Fog’s fall advertising campaign, featuring Joan Hollo Christina Hendricks of Mad Men.

London Fog/Nino Muñoz via The Cut

With that elegant look, we say g’bye until next time!

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