After dealing with a website virus (From Russia, with no love) that curtailed any Editor’s Desk posts over the last week, I’m finally back at it. As you can imagine the golf season is in full swing for us and with four print issues coming out in a 60-day period I really have not had much time for extra posts here anyhow.
On Monday/Tuesday I put some more miles on the Stickmobile and headed to the Greater Toronto Area for a couple special events. I’ll start with Monday and leave the Tuesday event for another post to follow.
It’s been some time now since we first heard that industry giant FootJoy would be looking to introduce a full clothing line for 2012. In support of that introduction, FootJoy Canada unveiled the products to a select group of industry professionals and media on Monday. The Fashion Show took place at the Design Exchange on lower Bay Street in Toronto and set the tone for what could be promising fashion future.
FootJoy, if you were not already aware, is an industry mainstay in the footwear department and has been gradually gaining momentum with their outerwear line that was reshaped in 2010. As part of the Acushnet family, along with Titleist, they have a lot of momentum and with new ownership support are poised to make the next step in growing their market share. Their target? Apparel for golfers, expanding their very limited offerings of the past into full product lines.
At the Toronto Fashion Show, which was repeated Wednesday night for a Montreal audience, they kept the presentation on point. It took about a half hour to showcase the first three lines of FootJoy Apparel but it prompted plenty of discussion for a time to follow.
Typical of Acushnet, the decision to work their way into the apparel market did not involve a sudden leap of any kind. The apparel line has been in the works for more than a year and a significant amount of planning has gone into the process to get every material, style, and piece just right. Staff members told us that at recent sales meetings in North Carolina they were given a meticulous presentation on the process that went into creating each short, shirt, pant, and even underwear. It’s clear that they realize a thorough approach is necessary if they are going to have an impact in an already very crowded and lucrative apparel market. With a recognized brand behind them and a strong distribution channel already in place, some great products will certainly earn them shelf space for 2012, especially in the green grass market.
The three collections, Jasper, Muskoka, and Tremblant were wider in scope than expected by most of the guests we spoke with. Comprising every aspect from tops, bottoms, to undergarments, they are clearly targeted at the Titleist/FootJoy demographic – the committed golfer who wants to look sharp and professional on the golf course.
Several pieces might appeal to a younger, edgier crowd, but it is clear that the FootJoy designers steered away from simply introducing a trendy, European style fit line of products that might not make it in the long run. The 2012 products on display are meant to hit a wider mark and based on what I saw, they certainly should.