Gant Co-Founder Elliot Gant passes away at 89
Elliot Gant, the Co-Founder of Gant, passed away on Saturday in Boca Raton, FL. at the age of 89.
Gant was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1926, and was raised in New Haven, CT, which became the home state of the Gant shirting company. His father, Bernard Gant founded Par-Ex Shirt Co. in New York City with Morris Shapiro a year after Elliot was born, and moved the company to New Haven. The company would produce shirts for Brooks Brothers.
Elliot and his brother, Marty, founded the Gant shirting company in 1949 after serving in World War II. They convinced their father to exit the shirt contracting business and create shirts under the namesake label.
Gant became a favorite among men throughout the 1950s and 1960s and it became very popular among Yale students. The shirting featured specific details that set it apart from other shirt providers like the box pleat, locker loop hang tag, back collar button and perfect roll.
The brothers paid close attention to the emerging style in New Haven, which was declared the home of the American East Coast University Look by Life Magazine in 1954. Due to the buzz, Gant experimented with different fabrics and bold colors.
The company was sold to Consolidated Foods in 1968, and the brothers remained with the company to oversee the Gant brand’s transformation from a shirting company to a general sportswear brand. In 1971, the company produced its first American Sportswear collection, in 1974 Gant Rugger was introduced and trousers and accessories were introduced in 1981. Gant changed hands several times throughout the years, but today the company is owned by Maus Frères.
“Let’s not try to be everything to everybody. We’re individuals. When you think for yourself you can be tastefully different,” said Elliot.
Elliot Gant is survived by his wife Ina (Romanoff) Gant; daughter, Carol Gant Leventhal; son Bernard Gant and his wife Hallie Krechevsky; his five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
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