Gant (retailer)

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FounderBernard Gantmacher
Number of locations
583 (2016)
Key people
  • Brian Grevy CEO
  • Thomas Dunaker, CFO
  • Patrik Söderström, Global Sales Director
ParentMaus Frères

Gant, stylized as GANT, is an international clothing brand headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The company was founded in 1949 by Bernard Gantmacher and was originally based in New Haven, Connecticut.[2]

GANT is recognized as the brand that brought button-down shirts to the mass-market. The company also introduced an award-winning button tab and the "locker loop" to the back of its shirts.[3]


Early history[edit]

Bernard Gantmacher arrived in New York City in 1914, a Jewish immigrant from Myropil (Ukraine). Gantmacher was employed at a garment factory sewing shirt collars while he studied to be a pharmacist. A few years later, he met his future wife, Rebecca Rose, a button and buttonhole specialist who worked for the same company. After Gantmacher's return from military service during World War I, the couple married and founded the Par-Ex Shirt Company with business partner Morris Shapiro. The company made shirts for brands including Brooks Brothers, J. Press and Manhattan.[4][5] In 1927, the company was relocated to New Haven, Connecticut.[3] The couple had two children, Marty and Elliot born in 1921 and 1926, who upon completing their studies at the University of Connecticut returned to the family business and convinced their father to make shirts for his own brand. In April 1949, the GANT label was launched.[6] Following their father's death in 1955, the Gant brothers took over the company's operations.[3]

GANT dress shirts were popular among American male students in the early and mid 1960s.[citation needed] The shirts were known for their back-collar button, locker loop and box pleat.[6][3] In the 1960s, GANT made the Yale co-op shirt exclusively for the store on the Yale University campus.[7] In 1968, the Gant brothers sold the company to Consolidated Foods but remained with the company.[3][8] In 1971, the company launched its first sportswear line and in 1974 launched its Rugger brand.[8][9] In 1979, Gant became a subsidiary of apparel manufacturer The Palm Beach Company and ceased operations in New Haven.[4]


In 1980/1981, Gant entered the international market when Pyramid Sportswear of Sweden was given the right to design and market Gant outside the U.S. Initially, Pyramid only offered the Gant label in Sweden but quickly expanded internationally. In 1995, Phillips-Van Heusen acquired the Gant brand in the U.S. from bankrupt sportswear manufacturer, Crystal Brands, Inc.[10][11] In 1997, Gant opened its first store in the United States.[12] Phillips-Van Heusen sold its Gant operations in 1999 to Pyramid Sportswear of Sweden for $71 million.[13]


With the purchase by Pyramid Sportswear, which became Gant 20 Pyramid Aktiebolag, Gant became a global brand. In the spring of 2006, Gant became a public company and was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange's O-List[14] until it was delisted 20 March 2008[15] when it was acquired by the Swiss retail group Maus Frères.[16][17] In November 2010, Gant returned to New Haven, where it opened a retail store.[4]


Gant operates in 70 countries and its products are available at 4,000 selected retailers and 583 Gant stores worldwide.[18] The "House of Gant" fashion collections are subdivided into three lines, GANT, GANT Diamond G, and GANT Rugger.[4][19]


  1. ^ Bischoff, Medya (15 March 2016). "Recruitments: Gant to Strengthen Its Management". Sportswear International. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Born in 1949". Gant. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Roberts, Sam (18 March 2016). "Elliot Gant, Marketer of the Button-Down Shirt, Dies at 89". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Baruzzi, Cara (16 October 2010). "Gant Returns to New Haven; Downtown Retail Store to Open This Fall". New Haven Register. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  5. ^ "The Start of a Long Journey". Gant. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b Kamen, Paddy (14 November 2012). "GANT: The Hip and Historical Brand". Envision Magazine. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  7. ^ Crawford, Sarah. "The Gant Yale Co-Op Shirt". The Man Has Style. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b Gropler, Melanie (18 March 2016). "Co-Founder of Gant Elliot Gant Has Died". Sportswear International. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  9. ^ Anyanwu, Obi (17 March 2016). "Gant Co-Founder Elliot Gant Passes Away at 89". FashionMag. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Crystal Brands, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation History". Funding Universe. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  12. ^ Foderaro, Lisa (19 November 1997). "Metro Business; For American Chain, Its First U.S. Store". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Pyramid Partners Collar Grant: Phillips-Van Heusen Corp..." The Chicago Tribune. 24 February 1999. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  14. ^ "OMX: Gant Ready for Listing on the Nordic Exchange in Stockholm". Finanz Nachrichten. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Delisting of Gant". MarketWired. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  16. ^ Shields, Amy (1 February 2008). "Maus Frères acquires Gant". Retail Week. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  17. ^ Ibison, David (30 January 2008). "Maus Frères Acquires Gant". Financial Times. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  18. ^ "Gant Stores". Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  19. ^ Gropler, Melanie (23 September 2015). "Gant CEO: We Are Born and Known as Shirtmakers". Sportswear International. Retrieved 17 June 2016.

External links[edit]