Gant, owned by Switzerland’s largest retail group Maus Fréres was established in the US in 1949 as Gant shirt makers. High-class tailoring skills made Gant shirts a cornerstone of the East Coast look that spread around the world in the 50s and 60s. After all its success in the late 20th century, Gant entered the 21st century with an ageing customer base jeopardizing the future success of the brand.
Essen International saw an opportunity to rejuvenate the brand, attracting a younger target group, and gaining larger share of wallet by shifting the core of the brand from recreational coastal living to sophisticated cosmopolitan living. Essen International had the ambition to reinvent a brand that had lost its halo. They wanted to elevate historical values that had not been manifested or communicated enough. The ambition was to transform Gant into a true lifestyle brand with a hero product at the heart of the brand. They also set to streamline its treatment of visual assets, shifting from decorative elements that were given logo status to one strong visual identity viable enough to be applied to any given unit – apparel especially. Essen International partnered with Gant and made an extensive global study of the brand’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. They talked with internal stakeholders worldwide and potential consumers in Berlin, London, Madrid, Shanghai, Stockholm and Washington. With well-formulated insights, Essen International started to design a platform with one major focus: the shirt. The platform set to attract a younger cosmopolitan target group, shifting from an older recreational one. They then continued by designing a new visual identity. Essen International re-designed assets from their past and elevated them with new ones. Among other things, we designed a unique font family: Gant Modern. The result was overwhelming. Essen International launched a new global platform with a corresponding visual identity, both very much appreciated and accepted by the owner family, the management team and 30 international partners.