24h in Ghent: Playful Nostalgia
We are a small family business where co-workers are friends, team players are mentors and where mothers are our source of inspiration. We all love to see our kids happy and shining in our own creations. Their fun making is contagious, it gives us courage and appetite to continue creating comfy and unique kids clothing for all little rascals out there !
We like to take them places we used to go as a kid, because it gives us this warm nostalgic feeling. And the Vooruit is one of these great places our AO76 family is well familiar with, as our origins are rooted in Ghent and our first flagship store is just down the road.
A PLACE TO PARTY, TO MEET, TO CONNECT
The building Vooruit has a turbulent history, holding ground through the world wars and struggling through financial challenges to remain occupied, while expanding into a leading temple of culture as it is today. From being built in 1910 by the cooperative Vooruit creating their own people's house, to making it on the list of protected monuments and becoming a subsidised arts centre. You can check out their timeline at the entrance or scroll through the website to read their fascinating story.
LET’S MEET AT THE ‘VOORUIT’ TONIGHT
Like all AO76 colleagues, you young moms and dads surely know the Vooruit, right ?! Going partying at the grand café in the Nineties, grabbing a concert in the ballroom in the Nillie's, having a blast at music festivals and participating in workshops nowadays. It’s always been the perfect meeting place to start or make your evening. Seeing our AO76 kids play there and posing at places we used to take selfies is so cool and heartwarming to see. Passing on tradition in a playful way.
WHAT’S IN A NAME ?
The name Vooruit is so imbedded in the culture of Ghent and well known among its residents, great displeasure arose in 2021 when wanting to re-name the building. Luckely a great compromise brought consolation. The organisation of the successful Arts centre now bears a new catchy name ‘VIERNULVIER’, while the building keeps its historical one: The Vooruit. All in favour !
STICKY, ICKY ICKY
In 2003 we also made a name change; American Outfitters became AO76. It’s funny, like true people of Ghent, loyal and traditional as they are, our most loyal customers still refer to us as American Outfitters. It always brings back a great nostalgic feeling and reminds us of our own great history. Somethings stick and never change. We are the same brand, led by the same family, true to our roots, still creating playful and unique kids clothing with a twist !
Next door the boys noticed a record store. But not just any... the Music Mania record store ! One of the best across the globe and the oldest in Ghent ! A shop with a peerless reputation and history, loved amongst the most prestigious DJ’s and collectors. A place that played a big role in the music industry in Belgium, like American outfitters played a big role in the Belgian kids fashion industry. You find records here across the spectrum, their offer is unique, like in our flagship stores, and their stock very much prized. The place to be when you love music ! AO76 the place to be when looking for a diversity in kids clothing.
MUSIC IS THE ANSWER !
We absolutely love music, because it’s such a creative inspiration source. AO76 artwork and copywriting is always drained by music influences like a certain vibe, great lyrics or specific rhythms. The great part is our kids love music too ! On set they’re always dancing, singing and grooving, which really brings our products alive, highlighting their comfort level and quality.