By  on April 8, 2010

PARIS — Bob Andrews, a U.S. citizen and a veteran of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., has been named creative director of Gant AB, a Swedish sportswear firm with American roots.

Andrews joins the Stockholm-based firm effective Monday, and his first collections will be unveiled to the trade in January for the fall 2011-2012 season.

According to a Gant spokeswoman, Andrews will oversee collections for men, women and kids, including accessories, under the Gant Collection, Gant Rugger and core Gant labels.

Andrews succeeds Brian Rennie, who exited the firm last September after a two-year stint. Before Gant, Rennie, a Scotsman, was longtime design director at Escada.

“I’m trained in American sportswear. It’s really my love,” said Andrews, a Chicago native and graduate of ParsonsThe New School for Design in New York City. “Gant invented the button-down shirt. You can’t get more American than that.”

His résumé includes stints at Jones New York, Ron Chereskin, Williwear and Esprit. Andrews began his fashion career at Polo in 1990 as design director for men’s knits, and was involved in the launch of the Polo Sport and RLX collections.

In 1998, he was promoted to senior vice president of design for men’s and women’s accessories, a post he held until 2007, when he left to try his hand at production design for film and television. Credits include commercials for Vicks, and he is listed as an assistant to the production designer on the current film “The Greatest,” starring Pierce Brosnan and Carey Mulligan.

“It is our firm belief that Gant will reach new and yet-unseen levels of creative vision and aesthetic execution under Bob’s artistic leadership,” stated Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg, Gant AB’s chief executive officer.

Andrews told WWD his production design experience would help him with store design and forthcoming fashion shows. “Gant has a strong image, which can only get better,” he said. “It’s an American sportswear brand with a European twist, which is exciting.”

Sold in more than 60 countries through almost 600 stores and 4,000 wholesale clients, Gant posted 2009 brand sales of 7.9 billion Swedish kronor, or $1.04 billion at average exchange rates for the period.

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