Sunday, January 31, 2010

Badds the New Goods for Travis Mathew

(Photo the sole property of Getty Images)

Travis Mathew continues to roll out its roster of offseason acquisitions. It's been confirmed by reliable sources that Aaron Baddeley is the latest signee for TM. Baddeley, with his shag and laid-back demeanor is a perfect fit for the brand known for exuding sophisticated, surfer style on the course. Baddeley spent several years as the posterboy for the bold plaids and stripes of Original Penguin.
A Travis Mathew rep at the PGA Merchandise Show told the KC, "When we did the initial fitting and saw [Aaron] in the clothing, it was the first time [we] said to eachother, "this is exactly how we envisioned the brand to look..."

An official announcement has yet to be made, but our impeccable record of providing you with the latest speaks for itself... Now we just need to see if Badds can resurrect his game in 2010. If he does, you can imagine TM will be the first to say, "Gotta be the duds..."


Friday, January 29, 2010

Jessy Heuvelink @ J.Lindeberg

J.Lindeberg’s new golf design director, Jessy Heuvelink, has just the fashion-schizophrenic pedigree needed to shape the Swedish brand that’s been pushing golf style forward for more than a decade. After stints in Adidas’ German headquarters and in Christian Lacroix’s haute couture atelier in Paris, Heuvelink has new muse … and it comes in the chiseled shape of Camilo Villegas. Here are some of the highlights of our meeting with Heuvelink at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando...

Q: Over the years, J.Lindeberg has been alternately all about color, or a particular silhouette, what’s driving J.Lindeberg right now?

J.H.: Right now, J.Lindeberg is not about a revolution, but an evolution. We’re going back to our roots to bring style to the golf course with pieces no one has ever seen before, like a waterproof, tech blazer we’ve created that has the look of a traditional blazer, but you can play golf in it.”

Q: Is it wrong to say JL is only for the super slim? Pardon the pun, but is the line broader than that?

J.H.: "We do have that reputation, but the truth is we have pieces all kinds of shapes can wear. Some pieces, however, are done with a design twist that can make them seem like they’re cut smaller. I’ve often said, when some bigger guys wear JL, they can, in fact, appear trimmer than they really are."

Q: We’re looking at a collection that will hit stores in the early summer, what was your inspiration here?

J.H.: "Tailoring. Classic menswear patterns, like big plaids, houndstooths and pinstripes, yet made modern in technical fabrics. The play between the old traditions and the new..."

-Annmarie Dodd

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stuck in a Moment?

(Photos the sole property of Jack Nicklaus Sportswear)

Fashion is cyclical. Most of us are starkly aware of that. What was hip once will probably be hip again, some day. Golf apparel companies have been tapping into designs from the 60's, 70's and 80's for the past few seasons of men's clothing and the response has been predominantly favorable. Many of the younger players on courses all over the world dress something like the younger players did 30 years ago. The focus on more streamlined looks across fashion's horizon has been a catalyst for a movement towards more fitted apparel on the fairways - which is great.

That being said, how far is too far with regards to revisiting the past? Would you buy an exact replica of the argyle sweater worn by Jack Nicklaus at the British Open in the 70's? Nicklaus Sportswear thinks you will. They are unveiling a Heritage collection that takes actual pieces Jack played in and was photographed in during the aforementioned decade and recreates them for the modern player. I can definitely see a collection like this getting some attention in Asia, where Nicklaus apparel sells more readily, but I don't see American or European golfers biting...

Between the Slazenger Heritage Collection, the Nicklaus Heritage Collection and other historically-inspired apparel lines, one inquisitively-minded individual surely begins to wonder if this seemingly fun regurgitation is actually completely stunting creativity. Reinventing and rebirthing old apparel lines is cool if you actually plan to take them somewhere - and I'm not picking on the Nicklaus line, because I think this idea has a lot of potential a) if they use the line as a "slim-fit" version of the Signature stuff then continue to develop and push direction once they've established a presence golfers can relate to, or b) make it a one-time, limited-edition type thing - but if the push is aimless - perhaps to keep churning out knit shirts with "retro flair," (what doesn't have "retro flair" these days?) it's going to stale quickly and sooner than later, be obsolete.

I guess my point is simply that apparel companies need to be aware of becoming too gimicky and nearsighted. It's exactly what they expect from us - by "us," I mean the golf industry and by "they," I mean everyone else that thinks 'golf' and 'style' don't belong in the same sentence. If it sells, it sells - I know companies have to move units. There is no better way to educate golfers on the elements of style then designing, producing and flooding the marketplace with high-quality clothing, but you also need to show your younger or savvier consumer a little bit of progression, creativity and vision or the mission is lost...

I had someone remark to me recently, "golf clothing is such a game of extremes - it's like I have to choose between plus-fours or a spacesuit... I just want a cool shirt and some flat-front pants that I could wear anywhere..."

Sounds pretty manageable, but is it?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Abu Dhabi Style

(Photos the sole property of Getty Images)

The Euros (and quite a few international stars) are in the desert this week for the Abu Dhabi Championship. On display, here, are some of the more crisp and clean sartorial achievements we've seen recently - probably because we've been watching the Sony Open... snooze... It's nice to see a full field of some of the world's best looking sharp.

A few notes: Liking Geoff Ogilvy in those TM pants - big improvement with respect to fit - the tailoring is perfect in the back... Chris Wood fearlessly rocks 2 of the dominant colors in JL's spring 2010 gear... Camilo being Camilo - looking forward to seeing him in the new JL stuff, he needs to get back in the brights... Soren Kjeldsen cuts a striking silhouette in Puma... Henrik Stenson may have the best-fitting trousers in the game today...


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 New Apparel Companies Bust Out on 2010 PGA Tour


Richard S. Johnson in Abacus

-Swedish apparel brand, Abacus, has signed fellow Swede and former JL guy, Richard S. Johnson, to sport their looks on the European and PGA Tours. US customers may not be familiar yet with Abacus, but they've already been featured as the outerwear sponsor for the Euro side in the Solheim Cup last summer, are headed to the PGA Show and, of course, have been featured several times here on the KC... I really like the Nordic attitude of the clothing and the focus on making 'golf' apparel that really can be worn anywhere as sportswear with an emphasis on transitional pieces that thrive in a variety of weather... I've already conducted an interview with Abacus CEO, Sven-Olof Karlsson - which will be featured shortly - and I plan to sit with Abacus a week from Friday at the PGA Show to see the collections. Stay tuned for more on this...

-Flare apparel - trousers and shirts - is a brand-spanking new venture out of Tulsa. So new, it appears, that they do not have a website. Their pitchman on the 2010 Tour will be Bo Van Pelt, who has apparently been given a stake in the company in exchange for wearing the clothing. The shirts feature an interesting 'v' shaped cut-out on the sleeve and the color scheme is bright and bold. (See shots here of Bo in Flare, courtesy of Getty.) Currently working on gathering more info on these guys and their plans...


Monday, January 18, 2010

RLX Fall 2010

The new RLX fall 2010 stuff is sick... I can't show photos yet, because RL will have my head on a stick. Trust me though... As they've done recently, the collection takes both heritage pieces - injected with contemporary flair and an updated fit - and modern staples with re-tooled detailing. It's clean and sophisticated with just enough edge to it. I'll have photos by next week from the PGA Show...


New York Haberdashery Show


Todd Martin and Chris Knott

I stopped by the Warwick Hotel on Friday morning to chat with my friends Chris Knott and Millie Graham from Peter Millar. As always, we had fun firing back and forth about the latest developments in golf style, menswear and, of course, gossip. When I'm around the Peter Millar team, I always just want to slip into a Southern drawl - that syrupy demeanor is infectious. I was also pleased to get a chance to meet Todd Martin, who will be running the golf division for PM going forward and to hear some great news about the upcoming year... More to come on that.

Of course, we also had business to attend to, and that meant seeing all the new fall 2010 apparel from the ever-expanding PM collection. I am consistently blown away with the quality and the sheer scope of what they offer to their customer. New for this fall is a barrage of Italian-influenced outerwear; think zip-out vests, quilting, Loro Piana Storm System technology, etc. They are also doing a variety of beautifully-made shoes and belts with new closures. I'm amazed they are able to move all this stuff, but PM is able to make a super high-quality product and sell it well under comparable offerings from more renowned manufacturers from, say, across the pond - which has been a formula that seems to have worked in the men's specialty shops where they make their home.  

As far as golf goes, PM offers boundless options in autumn sweaters: cashmere, merino, 1/4 zip, cardigan, shawl collar, classic v-neck. The fall book is just enormous. Knits are bold and bright, as always, and their pants have expanded to include several new styles of trousers including patterned wool offerings that fit with the sophistication of what I've been seeing for fall 2010 from others. 

For the slightly older and more fiscally comfortable set that makes up the PM customer base, it's worth knowing that PM has never been more on top of its game than in 2010. But don't think the last 9 years have jaded these guys, they're still having plenty of fun. When asked about the scent of the new Peter Millar cologne offering, several members of the team - after attempting a more sophisticated pitch expounding the tri-layer musk and citrus oil formulation -finally remarked, "Hell, we just call it BCR... Bitches come runnin'..." 




Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fun With Captions

(Photo the property of The Associated Press)

Camilo: "Holy sh#t! Is that the KC in handcuffs?"

Ryo: "Yep. Guess the cops caught him trying to find a buyer for those unreleased Henrik Stenson underwear photos..."

Camilo: "Sick bastard..."

Why I May Consider Wearing a Slightly Wider Pant This Season...Maybe

I'm consistently re-evaluating my wardrobe, both golf and otherwise. I bounce around and eliminate and revisit. I get sick of current pieces and bring out other pieces I thought I'd never wear again. I go from favoring muted tones to brighter colors and back again. So it's no real surprise that I've recently had an upheaval of my strict beliefs on the fit of my golf pants...

Off the course, I like my pants super trim. I favor a straight slim leg with a slight taper and 14" bottom openings. Not for the faint of heart... Anyways, the several pairs of golf trousers I wear have all been tweaked and now fit a lot like my everyday pants - and I've been hesitant (at best) of wearing anything on the course that wasn't cut to my exacting specifications. This kept me from wearing a lot of brands. I'd preside over racks of even the more aggressively cut stuff (JL, RLX, etc.) thinking, "they don't make pants that fit me." - I had effectively extricated myself from 99 percent of the golf pant market. (See here.)

That being said, it's a new year and I'm currently assessing my arsenal of on-course trousers. This change of heart I easily attribute to this pair of RLX Greens Pants I acquired from a buddy recently. The particular model I've owned several pairs of and because of their width, were now included under my aforementioned header of "pants I can't wear." Anyway, I tried this particular pair on -they are a size 32, I'm a 30 - and was pleasantly surprised. 

The extra width didn't bother me - I actually enjoyed having a little more space to move - and the way they sat on my shoe didn't bother me so much either. (In the past, I hated wider openings because they'd dwarf your golf shoe - granted, these Classics Tours I'm wearing in the photos are cut wider and chunkier than say, the new Icons.) And because you can never really tell without a photo, I took a few (above) and they actually sit pretty well. In fact, if I go down to my true size, the 30, they should be spot-on. 

A simple fitting and an open mind and here I sit, with a whole new realm of trouser possibilities for the 2010 golf season...


Saturday, January 16, 2010

In 2010's Most Perplexing Apparel Development...

(Photos the sole property of The Associated Press and/or Reuters Photos)

Ryuji Imada signed a 2-year shirt deal with Cutter & Buck...

Imada, who has sported Lacoste polos for the last several years, is an interesting fit for the brand that is probably best known for clothing Stuart Appleby and Annika Sorenstam - and, of course, providing that old member-guest shirt you never wear. (I kid.)

Cutter & Buck is one of those companies that do a lot behind the scenes - with wholesale and other services, but it hasn't been able to generate any fire retail-wise in quite some time. 

They experimented with a younger line, CBUK, which was sold on Fairwaystyles for a while, but the colors are bad and the designs are worse... think puke-green color-blocking...

While Stuart Appleby is perennially one of the better-dressed players on Tour, he's a little older. I don't find C&B really fitting in with Ryuji's slightly edgier, less traditional style. Not that Lacoste really does either - but it's a bit more sporty. Ryuji would mesh well with a really modern, younger line. I hope C&B puts out some stuff that suits him or we could have another Charles Howell situation on our hands...


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Webb Sensation?

(Photo the property of AP Photo)

Polo Ralph Lauren announced officially today that it has signed former Wake Forest standout Webb Simpson to a multi-year deal. Webb will sport Polo Golf designs and serve as an ambassador for the brand - along with Davis Love III, Tom Watson and Jonathan Byrd - as he searches for his first PGA Tour win in 2010...

Polo Golf rarely adds to its roster and the Webb acquisition is a perfect match. As someone remarked to me recently, Webb is a "mini-Davis," of sorts... He has that preppy, Southern-shag thing going and he looks fantastic in the clothing.

An official press conference will be held at the PGA Show and we're going to try to sit down with Webb at some point and talk a little shop...


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Naked Golfer

(Photos the sole property of Getty Images, all rights reserved)

Is unsigned the new signed? Many top-flight players are opting not to sign a clothing deal these days. Two of the biggest stars in the world, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, are deal-less - probably a luxury, as they are hauling in enough cash to turn away offers. Adam Scott - still a top-40 player and probably one of the dream 'clothes hangers' for many designers and stylists - has been without a deal since he and Burberry parted ways. Rumors have swirled about everyone from Ashworth to Polo trying to nab the Aussie. Then there is red-hot Ryan Moore - the posterboy for label-less golf...

Are players tired of being told what to wear? Have today's lucrative equipment, ball and shoe deals - combined, of course, with increased perks and purses - negated the need for a clothing contract? I have to admit, it's nice to not see so many logos on players... Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood (top) and Camilo Villegas look like swinging stockcars with their credit card, watch and coffee logos... I guess, after all, a clothing sponsor is just another sponsor...
Regardless of the reason - there are unsigned, powerhouse players out there that potential advertisers/apparel companies could build an entire brand around. This golfer certainly wonders why these guys haven't been landed and what it might take to do just that... The best players in the world have the choice whether or not to just wear anyone who will throw them a decent chunk of change, but you'd think Marketing Directors from apparel houses would be all over these guys... Phil? Rory? I mean, I'd be folding these guys' underwear and lying to their mothers to land them... Adam Scott?? A no-brainer if his play improves... Hell, even if it doesn't...

With all the usual offseason reshuffling going on - Geoff Ogilvy, Nick Watney, etc. etc. - one must surely wonder what it takes to land the big one these days... I think more companies should be on top of the collegiate, junior and Nationwide ranks - looking for the next Rickie Fowler, the next Matteo Manassero, the next Webb Simpson - cool, young guys that are going to sell clothes... Maybe that's why the already established players aren't as attractive in a 'value' landscape that sees marketing budgets shrinking by the day... I can talk myself into a circle here, but Rory frickin' McIlroy should have a clothing sponsor - no excuses... The kid has cash cow written on his forehead and underlined, twice.

I guess, knowing what I know - that on the design and sales side, companies still get super charged up about signing a new player to their roster that fits the attitude and feel of that particular brand - it's amazing to me that superstars remain without deals, regardless of the market. Clearly, top brass still sees a capable golfer and pitchman as a sound investment... And from the athlete's camp, wouldn't finding a proper clothing deal be integral to building that player's image and story into a brand? We live in a visual world and how you look while competing is pretty damn important to a lot of us... Ian Poulter has 1 million Twitter followers and zero PGA Tour wins... Do the math.


Sunday, January 10, 2010


(All photos the property of Getty Images, AP Photos, Hart Schaffner Marx, Bergdorf Goodman, JL)


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Aussie Inked?

(Photo the sole property of Getty Images)

The Geoff Ogilvy clothing riddle has been solved... 

As rumored, Geoff plans to sign with So Cal apparel brand - and recent KC feature - Travis Mathew

Geoff will wear T.M. clothing, sans logos, until the deal is announced officially. 

Trustworthy sources also reveal that T.M. will unveil two other big name sponsees in the coming weeks. So, be sure to look out for that... In fact, just look out for Travis Mathew in 2010, period. T.M. is coming out of the gate hard after successful '09 sales numbers and looking towards building a major stable of guys that reflect their brand's aesthetic.


Thursday, January 7, 2010


(Photo the sole property of Getty Images)

After 4 years with Puma, Geoff Ogilvy has put the cat to sleep... Ogilvy stepped out this week at the season opener in Kapalua adorned with logos from powerhouse Titleist/FootJoy- his new flagship sponsors. Ogilvy, as most serious golf fans know, was Puma's lead horse in the stable and a major driving force in their golf sales. For those of us close to the apparel game, we now are left to wonder what clothing Geoff will wear this year - we've been told he will NOT wear Peter Millar like the rest of the Titleist/FJ gang and will begin the season with no apparel deal...

This has to be a huge loss for Puma, who now looks to Rickie Fowler as its biggest star-power. No, Rickie doesn't have a U.S. Open or World Match Play title, but he does have A LOT more hair... (Probably the only gift Mr. Ogilvy isn't blessed with...)



PGA Show

The KC team will be in full effect in Orlando in several weeks, so drop us a line, here. We love meeting fellow style enthusiasts...