Thursday, May 7, 2009

The KC Ventures Out: Bobby Jones Apparel

Several weeks ago, the nice folks at Hickey Freeman/Hart Schaffner Marx/Bobby Jones invited the KC team to the Bobby Jones showroom to check out the Spring '09 collections. Perched above 5th Avenue in a sun-drenched space, the showroom is really a fantastic spot to talk shop, whether debating the fit of Phil's golf shirts, (on everyone's mind) corporate buying trends at the Masters or the necessary extinction of double-inverted trouser pleats. 

We were fortunate enough to sit with both the menswear and women's designers for the collections and they had some great insight on the current state of the apparel world as it relates to their brand and where they're trying to head in the future. 
Both Julia and Rob explained that Bobby Jones, obviously a traditional and reliable upscale brand, knows it's customers and what they expect: Golf polos in luxurious cottons with roomier fits and that undeniable knit "golfer" placket, great pullovers and classic trousers - all part of the equation that sealed their distinction as the only non-"house brand" sold on the grounds of Augusta National for the Masters. 

Julia explained that even at a stalwart like Bobby Jones, they can't ignore the trending towards more fitted apparel on the course - enter their tech collection which is cut trimmer, with banded sleeves and moisture-wicking fabrics that stay ahead of the curve. Don't expect them to buy a ticket to the polyester show here though...It just isn't them. Their trousers have remained fairly roomy, but they now do flat-front pants and shorts in addition to their pleated offerings. 

The real star for the collection for me is the timeless "sweatshirt" pullovers, they have great seaming details and are soft as can be. There is a navy one with orange trim detail that was my favorite piece. I tried to locate it on their website, but came up empty. 
Julia and Rob also incorporate several Bobby Jones classic sport coats, blazers, suiting, leather jackets and vests. 

A few notes: 
-As of 2008, they have begun designing two price points of shirting; the classic Bobby Jones polos are still made in Italy of the best cotton, however they have introduced a lower price point of both polos and sportswear that is made in Hong Kong, which looks great and is affordable. 
- Bobby Jones also makes a full line of clubs from clubmaker Jesse Ortiz of Orlimar "Tri-Metal" fame. Not to mention watches, scents and other gadgets.

Many thanks to Lisa, Julia and Rob!


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