“You have no idea what you are wearing, do you?” a friend asked the other day.
I thought I was wearing a sweater over a shirt and trousers. I often do. With socks and underwear. To complete the look. Conservative, I know. But it does for me.
“You really don’t know, do you?” my friend reiterate annoyingly , pursing his lips and shaking his head in a disbelieving and even more irrating way.
I thought he was going to give me the colour therapy cobblers. What the colour of your clothes says about you.
Grey. An introverted personality that has a strong priority for aesthetics and style. Usually “self-reliant and independent, as well as a careful eater. Confident around bolognaise.
Navy. Practical and serious. Dull and not worth knowing. Light blue indicates a more creative, unconventional, and non-conformist temperament. Possibly bisexual. Or at the very least , bi-curious.
Red. Outgoing, competitive and hateful. But a careless shaver.
Green. Focussed on traditions and conventional norms. Green wears tend to gravitate to the outdoors and enjoy nature. And a desire to blend in and get attacked by roses.
“So what am I then ?” I asked him, eager to know his definition of my personality type through what I had on.
I looked down. I wasn’t wearing blue and yellow like the Ukrainian national flag. So what was he on about?
He put me out of my misery. “Gant”
“Charming”, I said, taken aback and not a little offended.
“You’re wearing Gant. Gant trouser and a Gant shirt. I used to be prone to preppiness.
“ Probably Ukraine’s most famous export.
I am also prone to be rhetorical. “I am?” I asked. And, after he had gone, I looked it up. And he was right. And I was.”
In 1907, a miller’s son from Miropol arrived in New York on the Holland American line’s S.S. Potsdam. He was seventeen years old and, having sought it, achieved the American Dream.
Berl Gantmacher would dress America in locker loops, box pleats and back-collar button to keep their tie in place. His family company would pioneer the Ivy League Look and make the US a more colourful, less monotonously monochromatic place.
His tailors would introduce a new generation to “distinctly different” clothes, fuelling the Oxford Color Explosion.
Berl changes his name to Bernard, studying at Columbia University’s College of Pharmacy at nignt and working as a “closer” in New York’s Garment District by day. After fighting in the First World War and marrying an American button-sewer, with his partner, Morris Shapiro, Bernie Gantmacher founded the Par-Ex Shirt Company in Brooklyn and started making shirts for the likes of Brooks Brothers.
In 1927 the shirtmakers relocated to New Haven. Connecticut, home of Yale University, and with his sons Marty and Elliot in 1949 , almost forty two years to the day that he first arrived in America owning only the short on his back, GANT was founded. Soon the “G” inside the collar was recognized instantly as the assurance of superior quality.
The company banned white shirts beign worn to the office , producing shirts in bolder colour like candy stripe, tartan and Madras. Gant advertised in the New Yorker and dressing well without dressing up was a hit with the fashion=starved young sophisticates of Yale who dressed in white buckskin shoes, grey flannel slacks, button-down shirts and jackets with a natural shoulder. No more the double-breasted, padded-shoulders.
Gant now offers various weaves – Pinpoint Oxford, Chambray, Fil-a-Fil, Jacquard, Dobby, Melange and Poplin/ Broadcloth.
It launched its women’s shirts with the slogan: “For women GANT makes shirts, not blouses.”
In 1971, they produced their first collection of American Sportswear including ties, trousers and rugby shirts.
GANT’s new SS22 collection launched with a nautical theme, with archival sportswear classics from the 1970s in bold colours and prints. GANT offers a relaxed and romantic take on 70s summer style – with airy suits for both men and women alongside seasonal classics of linen and resort shirts.
Comments a spokesperson : “GANT has been on a great journey, rejuvenating the brand, over the past two years, proud of its heritage but also progressive in its future. The SS22 season continues to strengthen this and the brand’s position as the go-to for playful preppy style and being ‘The Future of American Sportswear’.
GANT has moved with the times. Into handbags , tote bags and beanies. It now claims itself “the go-to label for playful preppy designs by offering classic maritime looks paired with bohemian sensuality and retro references”
Flare denims and cognac leather with suede jackets are mixed in with sportswear icons like Breton and block stripes and heavy ruggers. The 70s influence also means a slight shift in silhouette where the marked waist is a big focus.
The nautical theme features shades of blue, whites and cream, while spring shades of camels and browns lay the groundwork for retro-inspired pieces that roundout the collection. “Our SS22 is a fun-infused collection with a playful take on our icons”, says GANT Creative Director, Christopher Bastin.
“The season takes inspiration from our heritage with a touch from the 70s, resulting in a more romantic side to our beloved American sportswear with softer silhouettes and refined fabrics”.
The second drop of the season is a celebration of mother nature, with an urge for naturality, freedom of choice , a sustainable approach and a new take on broderie anglaise. Details like frills, bows and puff sleeves, faded tones of khaki, blues, off whites, pastels of pinks and turquoise are mixed with highlights of strong orange and pink to set a bohemian tone.
But GANY will never forget its Ukrainian roots.
A spokesperson comments : “GANT expresses its full support for the communities affected by the current tragedy in Ukraine and, as an organisation, we have made a donation to the Red Cross.”
Wear Gant. And make the ultimate age-appropriate fashion statement.