The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

New England's Gant Rugger Preps Up Damen Avenue in Bucktown

By Alisa Hauser | July 9, 2013 9:59am
 Gant Rugger, a sportswear brand that traces its roots to New Haven, Connecticut, opened just before the July 4 holiday at 1702 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown.
Gant Rugger Shop at 1702 N. Damen Ave.
View Full Caption

BUCKTOWN — Fans of chinos, V-neck sweaters and button-down shirts won't have to trek to Barney's in the Gold Coast now that a New England-based clothing company that sells its preppy brand to the tony department store has landed in Bucktown.

Gant Rugger, a wholesaler and retailer which considers itself to be "responsible for introducing button-down collared shirts to American consumers," according to a news release, joined Damen Avenue's shopping scene July 1.

The 2,000-square-foot storefront at 1702 N. Damen Ave, in the former Ener Spa space between Silver Cloud and the closed Clarke's Diner, is just north of the Milwaukee, Damen and North Avenue intersection.

Gant Rugger spokesman Douglas Geller said opening a neighborhood shop in Bucktown "had been on the short list for a long time" but they "took time in finding the right location."

Bucktown was chosen because Gant was looking for "smaller hoods that are in transition that have a lot of excitement and action going on and a cool mix of bars and restaurants," Geller said.

"It's the newest and biggest Gant Rugger shop and we are psyched to be there."

Gant USA's CEO David Arbuthnot elaborated on the Chicago shopping scene. 

"Chicago is the premier shopping destination in the Midwest. We enjoy great success with our wholesale partners there and it's a top destination for our shoppers on gant.com," Arbuthnot said.

Geller said the neighborhood shop will features the complete Gant Rugger collection, inspired by classic clothing from the company archives dating back to the 1940s as well as a curated selection of the Gant's by Michael Bastian label.

Describing Gant Rugger as "affordable luxury," Geller said the average cost of a shirt is $115, while shirts from the designer collaboration with Michael Bastian are priced higher.

The store's Instagram page offers insight into "the look," with celebrity sightings such as actors Ashton Kutcher decked out in Gant Rugger in St. Tropez and Ryan Reynolds walking his dog while wearing Gant attire.

The interior design of the Bucktown store includes mahogany book shelves and floorboards salvaged from a Pennsylvania barn, while the dressing rooms feature vintage schoolhouse doors and mirrors.

Gant originated in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1949 and traces its roots to when American soldiers returned home from World War II, Geller said.

Additionally, Geller said that Gant was the first company to "take the rugby jersey off the field and make it into a fashion statement."

Chicago's Gant Rugger joins existing Gant Rugger neighborhood shops in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The brand also operates a campus store on Yale University's New Haven campus and additional Gant stores in Boston and Washington, D.C.

Gant Rugger, 1702 N. Damen Ave. The phone number is 773-360-1561.  Hours are 11 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For updates, follow Gant on Twitter or Instagram.