Sep 3, 2015
GANT looks to its roots to reach the sky
Sep 3, 2015
Last year's arrival of Patrick Nillson as the new head of GANT marked the start of a new era for the brand owned by Swiss group Maus and whose headquarters are in Stockholm. The former head of North American activities for Adidas is aiming at nothing less than being the major lifestyle brand within five years. Ahead of Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. To put this objective into a comparative perspective, GANT currently generates 875 million euros in revenue across 70 countries with more than 750 directly-owned stores and some 4,000 points of sale in multi-brand stores. Tommy Hilfiger generates more than 3 billion euros while Ralph Lauren generates more than 7 billion.
The brand from the Maus group has taken its aim at two major moves: a new international campaign and a repositioning of the collections with the launch of a new Diamond G line.
For the campaign, GANT decided to go back to its roots, the American East Coast, where it was born and raised. "Right now we want to get closer to our heritage. In the same way that at one time we revolutionised the button-down shirt, it is now time for us to show a more personified face of the brand with a more intellectual vision – something which already exists in our DNA," explains Caroline Roth, international director of marketing at GANT.
The goal of this campaign is to reaffirm GANT's heritage as first and foremost a shirt-maker, but also to remind the public of its "authentic" history in the Ivy League (the group of 8 private universities such as Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Yale).
"In the 50s, we were the most revered shirt brand on the Ivy League campuses," states Caroline Roth.
The campaign consists of a film and five posters. The film tells the story of a dry cleaner on an Ivy League campus who, over his lifetime, has seen his share of extraordinary people and moments, from a future president of the United States giving it his all on the dance floor to a future Nobel Prize winner losing a bet.
Through these figures, the film tells the story of the GANT shirt since, as the brand points out, it was first worn by professors and their students on these campuses. All of the people in the film are wearing vintage GANT clothing dating from the period they are portraying.
The print campaign pays tribute to five graduates of Ivy League schools through five black and white portraits.
"All of these talents have changed the world in one way or another, and they tell the story of GANT while we help them tell their story. It's a win-win situation," explains Caroline Roth. All of them are wearing the iconic white GANT Diamond G shirt.
The campaign, launched this September 3rd, is backed by a several million dollar multimedia investment. It consists of print, posters, film and digital in stores and on social media that will continue throughout autumn and right up to the beginning of next year.
BETC, GANT's advertising agency, is behind this campaign directed by Stuart McIntyre with the photos by Willy Vanderperre and Beat Bolliger in charge of styling.
The second part of its offensive is the addition of a new line. The brand currently leans on its GANT Originals sportswear line and the more refined and trendy GANT Rugger line which of course it will continue on with. But the Diamond G line will soon be joining them.
This new line, in GANT's own words, is aimed at a according to GANT itself, is aimed at an urbane clientele, one which travels and which needs a more sophisticated wardrobe. "This new line offers clothes that allow those who are wearing them to spend the day alternating between activities, without having to worry about having to change," explains Christopher Bastin, GANT's creative director.
The first collection will be presented at the next New York Fashion Week and be available in stores as of spring/summer 2016.
Diamond G also has one particularity. It offers an "iconic" button-down shirt, at the heart of the brand's strategy.
"The shirt is essential because it is the cornerstone of any modern wardrobe. For us especially, it was the start of GANT's history. We have been manufacturing shirts since 1949," explains GANT's CEO, Patrick Nilsson.
Diverse technological innovations have been used to perfect this shirt and adapt it to the hectic rhythm of modern life. For example, all of the buttons are sewn on using a technology that prevents them from falling off, points out the brand with great ambitions.
Jean-Paul Leroy (with Catherine Jazdzewski)
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