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Exclusive: Gant appoints new UK head as it plots expansion

Gant has appointed Wolsey director Fergus Patterson to head up its UK business as the Swedish lifestyle brand plots UK expansion with its first Gant Rugger store.

Patterson spent almost four years as UK managing director of classic British knitwear brand Wolsey and prior to that he was UK managing director of women’s young fashion chain Morgan. He joined Gant at the beginning of the week to head up the brand’s operations in the UK and Ireland.

He takes on the role from Tracy Stone, who was promoted to the newly–created position of global sales director in September.

This comes as the brand unveiled plans to open its first standalone store for the younger menswear label Gant Rugger in the UK next March.

Group creative director Christopher Bastin told Drapers: “Gant has such a fantastic presence in the UK. It was one of the first countries to become really big for the brand.”

The Gant Rugger shop on Beak Street, Soho, will be the fifth standalone store internationally for the line. Bastin said it would have a “local, London, feel to it”, although the LA store will be used as a template for the layout. Earlier this week Gant unveiled its new look for the Bluewater store.

Bastin, who was promoted to creative director in August after previously being head of design for Gant Rugger, also told Drapers of his plans to “narrow” and “focus” Gant’s mainline collection.

“It’s about tweaking classics a little more and focusing on silhouettes,” he said.“It’s a tricky job with Gant because it’s more about subtle changes. Without changing things too much and just tweaking things here and there we can make Gant look really fresh.”

His prime focus will be on Gant’s three strongest categories: shirts, outerwear and knitwear.Bastin explained he may use inspiration from Gant Rugger, injecting some more casual and sports inspired pieces.

“We’ve been putting things together in the same way for a long time, it’s good to get a fresh perspective,” he said.

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