Gant by Michael Bastian is coming to an end.
On Friday, the designer said that after nine seasons, the collaboration will conclude with the fall 2014 collection.
This story first appeared in the February 3, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“What everybody forgets is that this was always intended to be just two seasons,” Bastian told WWD. “But it took off, it was fun and doing well, so we extended it three more years. These kind of things are built to have an ending. It’s really sad, but it’s better to leave the party while it’s still going.”
Bastian said his last collection for Gant “feels a lot like our first season. We’ve been on quite an amazing journey together, and it feels good to really take things full circle,” he said. The final season is based on the theme of high school football, drawing inspiration from the television show “Friday Night Lights.” The offering will bring back previous best sellers and personal favorites, which will be available in limited quantities with a special commemorative label, Bastian said.
“Originally the collaboration between Gant and Michael Bastian was intended for only one year and was then extended to three years. The fact that we are ending after nine seasons is a testament to the unprecedented success we experienced together,” said David Arbuthnot, chief executive officer of Gant USA.
“Michael is a tremendous designer and did an amazing job marrying the two brands. He brought a new level of excitement to the Gant label as we expanded our global footprint. We know he will continue to showcase his talent with his own Michael Bastian collection.”
“Michael will always be a part of our Gant family,” added Gant creative director Christopher Bastin. “His time with us was truly an inspiration that helped reignite our love affair with American sportswear.”
The line was launched in 2010 and expanded into women’s in 2011. Last January, Gant said it was shuttering the Gant by Michael Bastian women’s collection, with final deliveries going to stores that spring and summer.
The Gant by Michael Bastian collaboration was a significant part of the revival of the Gant brand. During their association, Gant expanded the line from two collections to four each year, started women’s and added several limited-edition accessories collections including timepieces and eyewear.
The closure of the Gant line leaves Bastian with his own collection, which will be shown Tuesday afternoon as a kickoff to New York Fashion Week.
Bastian said his label is “in fine shape financially” and recently added a number of accessories licenses in bags, hats, socks and jewelry, Bastian said.
Since launching his own label in 2006, the designer has experienced his share of ups and down. The year after starting his collaboration with Gant, Bastian ended the licensing relationship with the backer who had launched his line. He took the fall 2011 season off to regroup and then reentered the market for spring with the Michael Bastian collection. Ironically, he was named CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year during the hiatus.
Over the years, Bastian has worked for Abraham & Straus, Sotheby’s, Tiffany, Polo Ralph Lauren and Bergdorf Goodman, where he served as men’s fashion director before launching his own label.