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The empty, sad space left by Into Video at 552 Hayes Street in Hayes Valley has a new tenant, and the neighbors are none too thrilled. The clothing purveyors of Gant are set to move in, but Hayes Valley residents have a longstanding aversion to big retailers moving into their hood. A city regulation bans chain stores with 11 or more stores in Hayes Valley, but Gant falls short of that number, so they have a legal green light. Still, the store is a bit too large and East Coast-y for the neighbors' tastes.
The company has humble beginnings—the founder was a Ukranian immigrant in the early 1900s paying his way through college by sewing collars on shirts—but it has grown into a huge success over the years. The founder's sons spearheaded a business around the popularity of Gant shirts in 1949, and the brand had an old-school, East Coast vibe for decades.
In 2010, the brand partnered with designer Michael Bastian and has since become a hipster favorite. You can buy Gant shirts and other apparel (for men and women) at Hayes Valley's Azalea, at the Sunset's Seedstore, at the Castro's Citizen, Jack's on Chestnut, and several other local boutiques.
What do you think, will you welcome Gant with open arms, or lead the picket line on opening day? Cast your vote below!
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