The GANT credo
GANT is a company driven by a simple idea: Never Stop Learning. It’s a belief that has guided us since 1949 when Bernard Gantmacher founded a shirtmaking company in the college town of New Haven, Connecticut. We like asking questions. We questioned why preppy was confined to college campuses, and helped make it a global phenomenon. We questioned why shirts were white or blue, and ignited an explosion of color and pattern.
Today curiosity continues to drive us forwards. It unlocks creative thinking and has led to many of GANT’s shirtmaking innovations. But it’s a mindset that extends beyond the design studio. What we have learned is that life is better when you keep on asking questions. It helps you engage with the world around you. It leads to new discoveries and new experiences. That’s why we will Never Stop Learning. For GANT, it all began with shirts and we’ve never stopped reinventing them. Born in 1949, it’s a shirt that is rich in legacy and history. The combination of our founder Bernard Gantmacher's dedication to quality and his sons Marty and Elliot's sense for style and business proved to be a winning formula.
The Start Of A Long Journey
The story of GANT begins with a Ukrainian boy in search of a better life who sailed to America, fell in love, found success and forever changed American style. Berl Gantmacher was a miller’s son from Miropol in Ukraine who, by the time he was a teenager, had already made his way from the Russian Empire to Rotterdam. From there he continued west, embarking on the S.S. Potsdam, a Holland America Line steamship, and sailing to New York City. Archives at Ellis Island record him arriving on November 12, 1907.
Like so many immigrants before him, he Americanized his name, changing Berl to Bernard. He enrolled in night classes at Columbia University’s College of Pharmacy but during the day he found work in the city’s bustling Garment District. It was hard work – he was as a “closer,” someone who assembles garments – but it developed his entrepreneurial zeal and taught him tailoring. It also introduced him to Rebecca Rose, a woman with a job sewing buttonholes and buttons. She would later become his wife.
From the outset, GANT was known for the quality of its shirts. In the early days, when the company was in the business of supplying shirts to other retailers, a discreet GANT trademark was added: a little diamond with a “G” in it stamped on the tail of the shirt. This mark was the customer’s assurance of quality just as much as the retailer’s label inside the collar. By the mid-1950s, the Diamond G had become part of the American menswear history – a distinctive sign of superior quality that helped make the signature shirts coveted best sellers, with demand far outstripping supply.