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Gant repositions for younger look

Gant is rebranding its collections to give the Swedish lifestyle brand a more fashion-forward edge.
The move, led by new creative director Brian Rennie, will see the brand emphasise its European personality and downscale the emphasis on its US heritage, as it seeks to appeal to more youthful customers.

Gant’s mainline, currently called GNH, will be renamed GNH Blue Label. The range will carry blue labelling but will continue to have its traditional preppy personality.

The Rugger line will be rebranded as Rugger Red. It will have red labelling and focus on men’s sportswear and denim, with the womenswear range being discontinued.

Elliot, the brand’s premium line, is to be renamed Gant Collection. The range will be more fashion forward and will carry white labelling. The renamed collections will launch for spring 09.

Gant hopes the strategy will make its offer more clearly defined and inject a more fashion-forward feel. Rennie said: “It will make it more appropriate for Gant to be stocked in Harvey Nichols’ or Harrods’ fashion floors, for example.”
Rennie’s first collection for Gant will be the pre-spring cruise 09 range. The brand will now produce six ranges a year, with slightly fewer pieces in the complete offer.

Rennie added that there would still be plenty for Gant’s loyal customers in GNH Blue Label, but that on the whole product would be updated. “Gant Collection will allow us to be more experimental in a focused way. At present there are trend-led pieces going into the different collections and they get a bit lost,” he said.

He added there would be more fitted pieces across the ranges and each style would be reconsidered. “I don’t care if something has been a bestseller in the past – now it has to justify its inclusion,” he said.

The overhaul will be accompanied by changes in Gant’s marketing and merchandising material, as Rennie introduces big-name stylists and photographers, and new models.

Rennie, who left Escada in 2006 after 20 years at the brand, said Gant’s new looks would be presented at Pitti Uomo in Florence in June. Gant’s Brompton Road shop in London will also be refitted by August.

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