If you’re looking for a masterclass on how to win over a whiny blogger, look no further than Gant. A while ago, after frustration got the better of me, I tweeted about an employee refusing to give me a refund for a pair of socks that had gone into holes after I’d worn them twice. Since then, they’ve sent me two replacement pairs (both of which have stayed intact!) and spontaneously invited me down to a bloggers’ breakfast to check out the new collection. WELL, I figured it would be positively rude not to…
You might imagine that for a brand like Gant, things are very much ‘business as usual’ and, to an extent, you’d be right. However, while it remains clear that they aren’t planning to fix something that’s not broken, their latest collection is full of little touches that really demonstrate the brand’s commitment to stay fresh. I spoke with a member of the brand’s marketing department, who told me that social media and blogger outreach are starting to play a much bigger part in the brand’s strategy. While those of us who spend most of our lives online don’t find that too surprising, it’s worth observing that this already puts Gant ahead of a lot of their competition. It’s also worth pointing out that word of mouth has always been a big part of Gant’s business, and this is still true today…except now it’s probably more likely to be in the form of a tweet than a conversation on campus.
With brands like Shore Leave and Farah, two high street contenders that both (to my mind) recall the preppy style of Gant and Ralph Lauren, on the scene it’s clear that Gant don’t intend to rest on their laurels. Take, for example, this unstructured dip dyed blazer…
…from the brand’s collaboration with Michael Bastian (a partnership now in its third year), also Head Designer at Gant Rugger. Speaking of Gant Rugger, I’ve fallen pretty much head over heels for this varsity jacket from their latest offering, which has sheepskin on the sleeves instead of the usual leather –
For once, I think I’ll let the pictures do the talking –
The fact that Gant invited a group of bloggers to their flagship London store says as much about the brand as the fact that this year’s S/S collection draws from coastal cultures all over the world, as opposed to the brand’s humble New Haven beginnings. It’s clear that they have big ambitions (evident from the fact that they now have stores in over 60 countries), far beyond just being ‘that one preppy brand’.
Now, if you need me, I’ll be in heaven (read: by that shirt display).