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If you were in Midtown East last night and became confused and disoriented by the parade of bearded guys in their 20s wearing a uniform of flannel shirts, suspenders, boat shoes (or desert boots), and bowties—relax, it was just a little party at the Gant flagship. Hosted by Details magazine, the get together was in celebration of Gant's brand new Gant Rugger Shop—a new line of hip, woodsy Americana for all those dudes that would totally chop their own wood if they didn't live in Bushwick.
The clothing—flannels and ginghams in Christmas card portrait colors; perfect western shirts with snap down collars; contrast collar tartan oxfords; slim, beaten-up denim; an array of very retro varsity sports meets Catholic school jersey snap jackets, merino pullovers, and cardigans with cursive Mad Men-era Gant monograms—was actually pretty fantastic. As was the renovated and expanded third floor space housing it. That said, it's just too expensive. Significantly more expensive than J.Crew or even Ralph Lauren Rugby; not really much cheaper than Hickey or Rogue's Gallery—we don't see the bearded fashionistos Gant is clearly courting making the switch.
What we did see (over our swizzle-sticked bloodhound comprised of blood orange juice, crushed ice and vodka) was Michael Bastian sipping a cocktail; one of the most delightful sales staffs we've ever encountered; a guy in a half-kilt over jeans with a heavily bedazzled handbag and $25 canvas sneakers; and several pretty interesting collections of archival Gant advertising imagery and product. The brand is actually celebrating its 60th anniversary and produced six very handsome archival shirts for the occasion. They're exclusive to the flagship and selected Barneys locations; but most pieces the New York store had received were already gone by the time we snatched our last mini-grilled cheese and gift bag like the monsters we sometimes are at parties.
· Gant [Official Site]