Designer: Christopher Bastin
Founded: Gant, 1949; Gant Rugger, 1973
Who wears it: Urban preps; Andy Samberg, Dave Annable, Kid Cudi, Chord Overstreet, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis
You know it for: Washed, worn-in patterns and silhouettes (shirts are two inches shorter than normal)
Brand backstory: Rugger is Gant’s archival heritage brand, based on the “Rugger by Gant” collection launched in 1973 after the company introduced rugby shirts as an off-the-field option. It’s the line that Gant—a phenomenon in Europe with more than 600 stores—used to re-introduce itself to the U.S. market.
Designer: Jean Touitou
Who wears it: Denimheads, Gallic hipsters; Kid Cudi, Nick Jonas, Zac Efron
You know it for: Simple, selvage denim and less-is-more basics
Brand backstory: Necessity may be the mother of invention for the Tunisian-born French designer Jean Touitou. When he couldn’t find clothing to his liking, the famously outspoken Touitou founded A.P.C. (Atelier de Production et Création) to make his own. A.P.C. rose from Parisian secret to international mega-brand on the strength of its streamlined, minimal denim. At a time when many of his contemporaries were favoring blinged-out pocket designs, saggy cuts, and ostentatious washes, A.P.C.’s raw, selvage pairs, cut from fine Japanese denim, were a revelation—even if the stiff, blue-black jeans at times required a pair of pliers and a partner to get into. (They soften, fade, and whisker beautifully as they age. Obsessives have been known to follow Touitou’s preservation advice to the letter—including washing their jeans only by wearing them into the ocean.) More than just denim, the label carries a full range of clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories. “Less is more” tends to be the unifying direction for the label’s ready-to-wear, and the fits tend toward the snug. In recent years, A.P.C.’s introduced a secondary collection of madras, full suiting, and collaborations with friends of the house, like jeweler Waris Ahluwalia.