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On the heels of the success of its Gant Rugger men’s line, Swedish-based Gant has turned its attention to women. It will launch a women’s Gant Rugger capsule for fall.
This story first appeared in the April 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Fifi Hallstensson, head of design at Gant Rugger, said they are taking classic American sportswear, tweaking it and pushing the envelope “to end up with something more modern.” The first collection — which is younger and more directional than Gant — will feature 16 pieces. It will initially be distributed in Gant Rugger stores in the U.S., Stockholm, Paris, Copenhagen, London and Madrid, as well as at gant.com.
The collection, as the designer describes it, has a cool, downtown vibe.
“During my past years working as a men’s wear designer, I’ve always admired a group of New York City girls and how they mix casual American sportswear pieces with more contemporary and luxe garments, ending up with a very interesting look. We wanted to create the dream wardrobe for this New York City girl who’s just as comfortable in jeans, a T and worn-out Chucks [Chuck Taylor shoes] as she is wearing a couture dress and killer heels. She’s dressy but messy,” said Hallstensson.
And what exactly does this girl wear to achieve this look? For starters, gray jersey jacquard drawstring pants with a T-shirt and a wool plaid coat; varsity jackets over a sweater and button-up shirt; a shearling vest over a nautical blazer, and, on the more feminine side of the spectrum, a blue cotton shirtdress featuring a wrapped waist.
Retail prices will range from $125 for the selvage madras button-down to $995 for the shearling vest. The collection features outerwear, blazers, knits, pants and leather pieces.
According to David Arbuthnot, chief executive officer of Gant U.S., “It’s a great natural progression” to our men’s Gant Rugger. Gant Rugger for men is distributed in more than 400 locations — 150 department stores and 150 specialty stores. At present, there are seven Gant Rugger stores in the U.S., with the eighth opening at the end of the month in the La Brea section of Los Angeles. In addition, there are five Gant Rugger stores outside the U.S., with plans to open stores in Japan and Hong Kong this year, he said.
He noted that a lot of women shop in Gant Rugger stores with their husbands and boyfriends, and the company saw an opportunity. “It’s a little more artisanal. It complements the Gant Rugger men’s line, and it’s more tomboyish [than Gant]. It’s the hipster sister of the Gant women’s customer,” he added. He noted that a capsule will launch for fall and a full-scale collection will be introduced for department and specialty stores for spring. He declined to divulge first-year projections.
MODEL: READ/MUSE; HAIR AND MAKEUP BY KATSUMI MATSUO/ARTMIX BEAUTY