Gant Rugger has inked leases for two stores in Brooklyn, N.Y., in Williamsburg and Boerum Hill, as New York City’s trendy outer borough increasingly attracts prominent fashion marketers. Both locations are slated to open in November.
Located at 115 North Sixth Street, on the corner of Berry Street, the Williamsburg store is 1,300 square feet, plus an additional 600 square feet of backyard space. The Boerum Hill unit, at 357 Atlantic Avenue, is 600 square feet.
“The real estate was a bit tricky. We’ve actually been looking for the right space for two years,” said David Arbuthnot, chief executive officer of Gant USA, of the Williamsburg store. “The real estate in the neighborhood is in major transition and a lot of the landlords are changing, which makes it challenging to secure real estate.”
The Gant Rugger store is taking a space previously occupied by upscale home retailer The Future Perfect. American Apparel operates a store on the same block and Urban Outfitters is also slated to open a store on the street.
Near Gant’s Boerum Hill store, Steven Alan operates separate men’s and women’s stores on the same stretch of Atlantic Avenue. J. Crew is scheduled to open a store this spring in neighboring Cobble Hill on Court Street. Early next month, Turkish denim maker Mavi will open a store on Smith Street in the same neighborhood, after opening a unit in Park Slope earlier this month. Brooklyn’s biggest fashion splash came in July when H&M opened a 29,000-square-foot unit on Fulton Street.
Both of Gant’s new stores are modeled after a new brasserie-influenced concept that Gant Rugger incorporated into a Paris unit in the Marais district that opened last month. “It’s an aesthetic that’s tied into local food and drink and having a good time,” said Arbuthnot of the design, which encompasses restaurant tiles, brass fixtures and custom chandeliers.
The Williamsburg store boasts a fully functioning, open-plan kitchen, including a chef’s island that doubles as the cash wrap. The stoves and ovens are primarily for show, as the kitchen will be used for special events rather than on a daily basis. The store has neither a food nor liquor license.
Gant’s new culinary-tinged ethos is highlighted in its fall marketing campaign, which centers on Brooklyn-based food and spirits purveyors, such as Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Salsa Co. and chefs Max and Eli Sussman.
The company, which is based in Sweden, currently operates five Gant Rugger stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, in addition to four Gant main line stores in New York, Boston, Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood and New Haven. Gant Rugger is the younger, more directional label of the Gant brand.