As you might have noticed from our first article, Golf Fashion Week was very different from the typical golf show. The focus on fashion and emphasis on the catwalk was a refreshing and exciting change.
And while in part 1, we focused on the haute couture designers at Golf Fashion Week, this one will focus on the golf fashion brands that are bringing couture to the fairways and clubhouses.
Many of the top european golf fashion designers were on hand in Den Bosch to show off their latest collections at Golf Fashion Week. If what we saw was any indication, golf fashion design is clearly beginning to push boundaries favoring confident styles, bright colors, and fun. No doubt that golf courses and clubhouses will be better off for it.
In my humble opinion, pro shops and sports retailers should be jumping all over this opportunity to refresh their offerings and to attract a new generation of golfers & shoppers.
Golf is full of rules. The annual R&A “Rules of Golf” is very important to fairness in the game and they put in a lot of effort into updates which keep the game current. Rules for clothing at golf clubs are no longer needed. While I do think that there should be some decorum, the old rules (shorts/skirts below the knees, collars, sleeves, no denim, etc) are antiquated and are only holding the game back from broader appeal.
These rules are just too similar to those in tennis from the 60s & 70s and as such simply need to be changed. The clubs that adjust their rules to the times will be the ones that thrive. Why not simply encourage people to dress well and offer some fun, colorful choices in the pro shop for everyone to buy?
And I should mention a bit about what appeals to me. I am by no means a fashion expert, but I have taken many thousands of tournament photos over the past few years. As such, I like the styles and colors that jump out at me through the lens, reflect the personality of the golfer, and are fun.
My own photo statistics prove that I’m not alone. My most viewed photos of the ladies pros are not of the prettiest players or even the world’s top players, but instead seem to be of the best-dressed players. I guess that’s actually a bit of a tip for any pros who are looking for more media coverage.
And one bit of disclosure – I am obviously biased towards a certain brand, but virtually all of you probably know that by now.
So without further adieu, a peek at my favorites from Golf Fashion Week.
pros wearing Poodle: Becky Brewerton, Anastasia Kostina, Rachel Jennings
In their 2012 collection, Poodle is emphasizing hot new colors and designs which exude confidence. All of Poodle’s offerings use high-tech, high performance fabrics and are equally suitable for warm & cold weather. Definitely raising the bar for golf fashionistas everywhere, these will look great both on the course and in the clubhouse.
Eco-chic ! One special eco/sustainable golf note: Poodle has used special nanotech fabrics in one line of dresses and all of their skirts to eliminate the use of water in the production process. More brands need to follow Poodle’s lead in this area, since one of the ugly secrets of fabric production is that a lot of water is wasted in the fabric production process (typically 75-100 liters for an average polo). It’s an area where golf brands can have a big impact on sustainability.
pros wearing Golf Junkie: Wouter de Vries, Nick Pugh, Ronald Boef, Jurgen Boon, Anna Scott
Bart and his team at GolfJunkie are among our favorite golf fashion houses and have done a great job with their latest collection which was on the catwalks at Golf Fashion Week. The colors and styles are very modern and appealing in both their mens and womens lines for 2012. And GolfJunkie manufacturers all of their clothing in an ethical manner – I like this. I bought one of their mens sweaters at GFW for myself, so I can’t give a better endorsement than that.
There was a womens polo shirt from Germany-based Brax’s 2012 collection which stood out on the catwalk at Golf Fashion Week. The polo in white had a very rose/pink floral design on the front of the shirt which gave the typically boyish look of polos a nice feminine touch. Also like the cargo pockets on the outside of the capris which give them a more modern look.
pros wearing Abacus: Christian Nilsson, Catriona Matthew, Kyra van Leeuwen
Abacus is of course very well-known here in Europe as the clothier of the winning 2012 Solheim cup team. Their designs for 2012 continue to be toward the conservative end of golf fashion, emphasizing solid colors and classic styling. What stands out in my mind is their outerwear, which is not surprising, given the brand’s Swedish roots.
pros wearing Puma: Rickie Fowler, Alexis Thompson, Jade Schaeffer, Viva Schlasberg
Puma is one of two “big brand” golf companies whose clothing I admire. They of course are known for their great use of color over the past couple of years, primarily with the Rickie Fowler-look on the PGA Tour in the States.
Their 2012 collection has moved beyond the Ricky Fowler “orange” to emphasise turquoise and lime green. The thing that really stands out for me is their use of color in footwear. I didn’t get a photo of any of their great footwear at the show, but have to say that of everything they do, footwear is the one thing with Puma that always catches my eye on the womens pros in Europe who wear Puma.
Golfino’s 2012 collection continues their focus on producing classic designs. Black polos with white accents, paired with white vests with dark accents. Red contrasting with gray – I like the bright red that they are using (see the photo below) in both their mens and womens lines.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into Golf Fashion Week. There was a lot happening, so it is impossible to get everything and everyone into just a couple of articles. For me, it was certainly fun to be there to see the mix of haute couture and golf and to give it my best shot in terms of photographing/videoing the latest designs on the catwalk.
Well done to GolfWeekly.nl fashion editor Auke Hempenius and team for organising the event. To all of the brands that participated, I hope that I’ve done your clothing some justice – great job and all the best for a successful 2012.
Watch this space in the coming day or so for videos from GFW. I hope to show a bit more than I can in photos and to really give a feel for the great atmosphere at the event. I’ve actually had the fashion show videos ready for a while, but have been struggling to find a decent upbeat audio track which I can pair with it without causing any rights issues.
For more photos from Golf Fashion Week, check out our photo gallery.
Womens Golf News & Notes:
- Our warm congratulations to Liselotte Neumann, who was announced this week as the 2013 Europe Solheim Cup captain! Outgoing captain Alison Nicholas has left very big shoes to fill, and no doubt Liselotte will do a great job.
- Controversy at Augusta before the Masters. Will they or wont they allow Ginni Rometty to wear a green jacket? In our humble opinion, golf should be about inclusion not exclusion. It’s time for change.
- The first womens major of the year is underway in California. Can anyone other than Yani take the title?
- The chairwoman of the LET earned the title at last weekend’s Lalla Meryem Cup. Well done to Australia’s Karen Lunn.
- The 2012 GB&I Curtis Cup team has been announced. We were pleased to see that the LGU selected Charley Hull for the squad. Charley has made a great 1st impression at the Kraft Nabisco according to Golfweek’s Julie Williams. And giving credit where credit is due, well done to the LGU for reconsidering Charley’s situation – you made the right call.
- Golfer, baker, candlestick maker? Anyone passing through Columbus, Ohio needs to check out Kitties Cakes, an enterprise of former LPGA/LET pro Mollie Fankhauser. We miss seeing her & Kelly out on the fairways here in Europe – no matter what was happening there was always a smile with those two.
- And a shout out today for Tenerife Dogs, a group dedicated to finding new homes for abandoned dogs on the island. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, visit their website or contact them via Twitter.