Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9 Holes with Travis Johnson - Founder and Creative Director of Travis Mathew - Part 1

(Photo of Travis in his UCLA days)

The KC recently caught up with Travis Johnson, founder and creative director of Travis Mathew apparel. Travis is a passionate young guy, former touring professional and has some really unique ideas about style. We think you'll enjoy...

KC: Travis, thanks for agreeing to sit down with us. We'll do a 9-hole questioning format to keep it true to the game...

Travis: I like your spin on playing nine, eighteen is way too much for a guy with A.D.D. It was great meeting you a few weeks ago...

KC: Travis, you mentioned that a wide range of stuff inspired you in the development of the spring/summer 2010 stuff. Can you name a few of the inspirations and how they're reflected in the clothing?

Travis: Well, as you know, I always source my inspiration for our new lines from outside of golf. For our spring/summer 2010 Collection, “Electric,” I got a lot of coloring and design ideas from the Coachella Music Festival that I attended last year. It was a pretty amazing line-up including bands like Kraftwerk, Roger Waters from The Original Pink Floyd, The Raconteurs, Portishead, and the Verve. The sheer lighting, music, and energy from the event were enough to give anybody a major dose of sensory overload. I drew a lot of inspiration from the show’s typical outdoor rock & roll theme, but also this year’s “light show” that went on throughout the night. The captivating night was filled with vibrant beams of light and color giving the evening a rather “electric” feeling. I tried to let these themes and feelings spillover to this upcoming year’s spring/summer collection, which will hit stores Feb 1.

KC: It seems like the goal is to get TM to that oft-used distinction of "lifestyle" brand - what steps are you taking to round out the collection, so to speak, and outfit your customer from tee box to town?

Travis: We have set out to achieve many goals at Travis Mathew and a part of our main vision here is to have our golf brand evolve into a fully-fashioned, lifestyle brand. However, just like any up-and-coming brand, you have to stick to the basics and what you know. Right now, we know how to make great golf clothing and we will not lose focus of that. At the same time, in order to not lose sight of our ultimate plan we have spent this last year acquiring the experience we need in order to start adding these new categories to our collections. The result of this last year’s investment will be seen for the first time in our spring/summer 2010 collection. We will be adding a nice line of dress pants, dress shorts, reversible outerwear, and golf inspired t-shirts, as well as few other cool accessories. Keep your eye out for these new additions, as they are our first step in growing our collection to better represent the lifestyle that surrounds our brand.

KC: Who is the ideal Travis Mathew customer? Who are you shooting for with the clothing/attitude/vibe of the product?

Travis: As much as I'd like to put a finger on who we sell to mostly, I've got to be honest and say that there is no pure age or demographic to our customer. We see both older and younger individuals alike wearing our product throughout the US. If anything, I would say the few commonalities that I see in our consumer is that they all enjoy clothing, they all care what they look like, and they all have a little spare cash to spend on something that looks different than what they’re used to.

KC: There is a heavy "So Cal" influence in the TM stuff, how would you describe your personal style and what you grew up appreciating about clothing?

Travis: There is definitely some West Coast and Southern California aspects to our product line; however, if you take a closer look to our apparel you will see that we draw inspiration from many more American influences than just the one we live and grew up in. One of our recent best-sellers, the TM “Searslack” and “Searshort” both completely sold out, two collections in a row. That style was derived from my playing days back in the South during ‘05 & ‘06. At the time it seemed like everybody in the South owned a pair of seersuckers and they all cherished them as if they were their Sunday best. I figured we could make an even nicer pair of seersuckers for our consumers throughout the country by upgrading the model with our performance-based qualities and basic TM fit. Point being, Travis Mathew may be based out of Southern California, but we consider ourselves a design team that makes apparel for the masses. To us, it’s not so much about what we like or what we want, it’s about providing what’s not already out there and doing it in a way that embodies the style and quality of [our brand.]

Stay locked into the KC for the rest of the interview with Travis, including Travis' favorite brands and some juice on Travis Mathew's touring pros, John Mallinger and Tommy Armour III...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trav's description of "sensory overload" at Coachella reminds me of college.