Elliot Gant, left, with his brother, Marty.
After World War II, when our troops came home, the cycle of fashion shifted with the introduction and popularization of new fashion trends. Flat front khaki pants, bermuda walkshorts, button down collars and penny loafers became the cornerstones of men’s fashion. These fashion trends became very popular with the students of Ivy League colleges and prep schools and the business men of Madison Avenue.
Elliot Gant, along with his older brother, Marty, pioneered button down collar shirts made by his family’s business, Gant Shirtmakers.
My father, Rush Wilson Jr., brought Gant Shirts to Greenville in the late 1950’s, when his store was on North Main Street at the Hyatt Hotel location. Many of our older customers still remember buying Gant Shirts during their high school and college years. It was the best shirt on the market and a favorite among their friends.
“Big Rush” and Elliot Gant were the same age and developed a close relationship along the way – Elliot as the manufacturer and Rush as the merchant.
Please enjoy the linked obituary article from the New York Times. It discusses the history of the button down collared shirt, Gant Shirtmakers, and their impact on the men’s fashion industry. To read the NY Times article, please click here: http://nyti.ms/1Mg3WI2