GANT – Fashion Brand Information

GANT is an outstanding and sophisticated Fashion Brand for women and men

GANT Brand Biography

Gant is a high-end fashion brand, that revolutionized the button-down shirts. The brand is the brain child of a Ukraining Jewish immigrant, Berl Gantmacher. The brand’s headquarter is now based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Early Life of GANT

  • Berl Gantmacher, who later changed his name to Bernard,  was born in 1890, in Myropol, Ukraine.
  • At the age of 17, Bernard Gantmacher sailed to New York.
  • With no formal education, Bernard was hired at a garment factory that made shirt.  The Ukrainian-born dreamed of becoming a Pharmacist and enrolled at the Columbia University’s College of Pharmacy for night time classes.
  • Bernard continued to work at the garment factory during the day. He worked as a closer, who’s duty it was to assemble the garments. This is where he met Rebecca Rose, who later became his wife. Rebecca was a specialist in making button-holes at the factory.


  • At the outbreak of World War I, Bernard Gantmacher joined the U.S army.
  • After the war, Gantmacher graduated from college and married Rebecca Rose.
  • In 1921, Rebecca gave birth to two sons.
  • Gantmacher partnered with business man, Morris Shapiro, and established the Par-Ex Shirt Company in 1927, in Brooklyn.
  • Par-Ex Shirt relocated to New Haven, Connecticut. During the 1920s, New Haven was the hub of well-designed garments. New Haven had a large community of European immigrants, who were skilled garment tailors.
  • Par-Ex manufactured and manufactured men’s button-down shirts for other companies and retailers.
  • At the beginning of World War II, Bernard convinced his sons to join the U.S. army.
  • Marty and Elliot completed their military service and re-join the family business and studied.
  • Marty studied Business Administration and his younger brother majored in Marketing.
  • While attending the University of Connecticut, the Gantmacher brothers were exposed to the new and relaxed fashion style of the American East Coast University. It was a trendy and casual look for fashionable American students.
  • After the Second World War, many old traditions were blown away in America. This initially gave way to new fashion, art and music.
  • The Gantmacher brothers were well equipped to up-scale the family business. They persuaded their father to stop manufacturing garments for companies, such as Manhattan, J. Press and Brook Brothers and to start his own company.
  • They wanted to use their family name as the new brand label. Bernard was convinced and launched GANT Inc. in April 1949.
  • Bernard’s practical skills combined with Marty and Elliot’s sense of fashionable trends, became a unique and successful combination.
  • The Ivy League look reigned in America as the new decade unfolded. The company’s shirts were in great demand. A GANT shirt became one of the key features of the Ivy League look.
  • This new look included sport jackets, regimental ties, V-necked sweaters, wing-tipped shoes and the natural-shoulder suit.
  • The shirts became a must-have for the fashion conscious American student.
  • Gant shirts were designed from unique fabrics, such as Madras and Tartan.
  • In 1955, Bernard Gantmacher died. His two sons took over the family business.
  • Marty and Elliot changed their surname Gantmacher to GANT, the company’s name.
  • During the early-1960s, the company started manufacturing dress shirts, which became a ‘hit’. The shirts again became highly popular amongst American students.
  • Yale co-op – a Yale University clothing store granted GANT to be their exclusive supplier of button-down shirts.
  • Elliot came up with the idea of fitting a button tab on their line of shirts. The button tab aligned the shirt and tie perfectly.
  • They won an award from the Esquire magazine, for inventing the button tab, in 1963.
  • By the mid-1960s, Gant’s line of shirts – the button-down shirts also became an essential key feature for any fashion conscious American man.
  • Coming to the late-1960s, GANT Inc. was solely a shirt manufacturer, and needed to apply their specialist knowledge to venture other markets.
  • In 1971, the company launched their first line of American sportswear, which included trousers, rugby shirts and ties.
  • By the year of 1974, the company launched the Rugger brand
  • Under this brand, the company launched a series of knit-wears and rugby shirts.
  • GANT Inc. became a subsidiary of The Palm Beach Company, in 1979 – a major clothing manufacturer.
  • In 1981, the Swedish based company, Pyramid Sportswear acquired rights to design and market GANT outside America and brought the brand to the international stage.
  • With the fusion of European culture, GANT became a global brand in the late-80s.
  • In 1995, the American fashion house was sold to Philip Van Heusen.
  • Philip Van Heusen sold the company to Pyramid Sportswear, in 1999 for a staggering amount of 71 million U.S dollars.


GANT is an outstanding and sophisticated fashion brand, that is well-known for its unrivalled attention to detail. Its monikers are the roll up collar, box pleat, the locker loop, back-collar button and the button tab.


  • After GANT was bought by Pyramid, the company’s name changed to GANT Pyramid Aktiebolag.
  • In 2006, GANT Pyramid Aktiebolag was enlisted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, making it a public company.
  • In 2008, GANT was acquired by the Swiss retail group, Maus Freres and was unlisted from the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
  • The company has three brands, GANT Rugger, GANT and GANT Diamond G.
  • GANT is available in 4 000 selected retail stores. It has over 580 GANT boutiques worldwide and operates in 70 countries.
  • The company developed from making shirt to designing a range of clothing lines for women, men and children, as well as fashion accessories.

2nd Take is the largest consignment second-hand clothing retailer Franchise group in South Africa with boutique shops in Cape Town, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, as well as a convenient online store.

2nd Take stocks exclusive designer brands and high street labels, often not available for purchase anywhere else in South Africa.

For further information on 2nd Take, please contact us on 021 434 5878 or e-mail

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