When you think of the Mathletes you knew back in high school—decked out in sweat-stained “πMP” T-shirts and pocket protectors—chances are the words “style icon” don’t leap to mind. You might have a change of heart, though, after taking a look at the new Pre-Fall collection from Gant Rugger, entitled “New Haven Math Club.”
Chockfull of eye-catching, lightweight sweaters and trim, natty suits, the line was heavily inspired by photographs of a Yale math club from the mid-’60s. “It just blew me away, because there are these super geniuses, the top guys at math at the time, and they were all super preppy,” designer Christopher Bastin says. “It was like taken out of Take Ivy—madras blazers, button-downs—they looked really, really sharp.”
Bastin is now in his third year in charge of Rugger, the younger, vintage-inspired line from prep stalwarts Gant. The 38-year-old Swede—who cut his teeth at minimalist Scandinavian outfits like Acne and H&M—brings both an eye for clean design and a genuine passion for classic American sportswear to the hallowed Ivy League label.
With “New Haven Math Club” hitting stores today, we caught up with the designer to walk us through his favorite pieces from the collection.