The new Gant store opened in New Haven a few weeks ago, and I was eager to see it for myself. There had been a lot of press about the return of Gant to New Haven.
And I have to admit that I have warm memories of Gant. As a child, my family almost exclusively wore shirts made by both Gant (who made shirts for J.Press and the Yale Co-op) and Sero. Both companies had factories in the New Haven area.
Located in a handsome, near century old building at the corner of York and Elm, I found the interior space to be tasteful, albeit smaller than I expected. But to say that I was underwhelmed with the merchandise is a understatement.
Clearly they are targeting a younger market, and I had known their prices would be on the higher side. But keeping that in mind, I found their offerings to be both lacking in taste as well as quality. 80% of what I looked at was made in China (such as a sweater priced at over two hundred dollars), a fact communicated by the feel before I even got to the tag.
In keeping with current trends, it would appear to me that most of their focus as well as funding is being funneled into their P.R. and marketing. By far, the most appealing aspects were the most amicable fellows who were managing the store.
We took a break and headed over to The Educated Burgher. This is almost next door to the old Yale Co-op location.
We then walked over to what continues to be my favorite store of all time, J. Press. As I have mentioned before, Gabe has passed away, and Ralph has retired. But fortunately James is still there.
There were dozens of items that were tempting, including the fabulous green Shaggy Dog sweater. But for this trip we just picked up the appropriate university (Schoolboy) scarf to give as a host gift for an upcoming party in the city.
We returned to our car via the always beautiful Yale Campus. And we are looking forward to our next trek back.