The fashion and apparel side of the show appears to be thriving, writes Ben Evans, editor of new golf trade fashion magazine, Cutting Edge Golf. Established US brands like Ralph Lauren, Cutter & Buck, Tommy Hilfiger, Under Armour, Antigua and Bobby Jones created highly impressive exhibition stands (or ‘booths’). Bobby Jones featured two excellent display cases: one a 30-foot pictorial time-line celebrating the career of one of the game’s greatest players while another showcased official replicas of the four trophies of Jones’ historic 1930 Grand Slam.
While American and Canadian fashions deserved to win a few trophies (women’s golf fashion was well-represented by the likes of Jofit, Nivo, Annika and others), they face significant competition from European labels. Chervo’, J Lindeberg, abacus, and Oscar Jacobson were just some of the brightest and best of Continental Europe, joined at the show by UK brands at the top of their game, including a resurgent collection from Lyle & Scott, top modern styling from IJP Design, the rebirth of the Wolsey label and a highly authentic collection from Tom Morris.
The PGA Show demonstrates that this is a highly exciting time for golf fashion again. It’s great that European brands are taking a good tilt at the US market.
Big and smaller can co-exist. You have FootJoy, Ashworth, adidas, PUMA and others doing good things with corporate clout behind them, and a myriad of niche brands emerging and brands actually launching themselves at the show.
What caught my eye so far included some beautiful colour and fabric from Chervo’ and J Lindeberg, the 140th anniversary of Lyle & Scott with the original badge on the jerseys, and the Jofit range showed that women’s golf gear can be superb if put together with love and imagination. My favourite booth had to be Tom Morris. A great collection, where the team aims to celebrate the iconic player and draw closely from Prestwick and St Andrews, including their recent conversion of Morris’s own shop at the home of golf. A welcoming team, telling a story well, is what this show is all about.
PGA Merchandise Show www.pgashow.com