Golfers are notorious for trying to look good on the fairways, but a young British golf professional has taken it a stage further – by starting his own fashion brand. And his designs could soon be seen on the High Street too, after some early successes for his creation Parallel Clothing.
In early 2009, 22 year old Leicester entrepreneur Andy Smith, a qualified Professional Golfers Association teaching pro, decided to take his passion for fashion further, and set about creating a unique range of shirts, sweaters and cardigans designed to be worn both on the golf course and on other more social occasions.
Like many PGA pros his days were filled by teaching golfers how to play the game – but in his spare time he was busy creating a new look for golfers both on and off-course.
And now his double life is paying off, as Parallel Clothing is set to launch a range of garments which are the first step towards what Smith hopes will be a bright future in the fashion industry.
“It’s been a long road to get to this point,” said Andy Smith, “but I believe that our first-year designs make us stand out from the crowd.
“Although golfwear has to be practical, we haven’t compromised on the fashion. Instead of simply putting new patterns on the same old polo shirts and jumpers, we’ve come up with some new ideas including contrasting stitching, drop down shoulders and prominent seam lines.
“We have a bold look which takes the latest fashion industry ideas and applies them to golf, but golfers will find they wear just as well on a night out as they do when standing on the tee.”
Smith, who has been a golf professional for four years, passed his PGA qualification course in 2009 – while at the same time setting up his fashion company.
“Because I’m around golfers all day, every day, I understand what they want to wear both on and off the golf course, and I realised that their needs weren’t being fulfilled by the current fashions out there” said Smith.
“They want top quality designer golf clothes which double as trendy fashionwear, but many complained that existing brands are too conventional. That’s where Parallel Clothing comes in – with the name echoing the fact that our styles have been created with both fashionwear and golfwear in mind.
“It was hard work to pass my PGA exams, teach my pupils and create Parallel Clothing at the same time, but as I’m a typical example of the target market we’re aiming for, the effort will be worth it and I’m confident that our range will be successful.”
Parallel Clothing polo shirts feature both full-button styles and unique placket detail, one of which is angled towards the side of the shirt. All are 100% cotton with both Pique and Jersey cotton options, with a unique ‘wash’ which creates a soft feel. Parallel Clothing cardigans, sleeveless and half-sleeve sweaters use 100% cotton which is finished to perfection with the softest of feels. Design features include pintuck detailing from the neckline to the hem, a button-fastening placket along the shoulder, and contrast stitching along the seams.
“Our garments feel light and soft on the body,” said Smith, “but they are durable – as all golfwear has to be – and can be washed many times without losing their colour or shape. Our fabrics are also extremely breathable; Parallel Clothing is high-quality golf apparel in every way.”
Prices for Parallel Clothing garments range from £30 to £50, and customers can place orders online at www.parallelclothing.co.uk, with garments despatched same-day by first-class recorded delivery. Or they can visit the brand’s growing number of retail stockists – details of which are on the website.
“We promise rapid service and a range of great-looking clothes which fit the accepted dress code at a golf club,” said Andy Smith, “but we also promise that you’ll look – and feel – a cut above the average golfer if you wear Parallel Clothing.”
And the future? The young businessman has plans to introduce Parallel Clothing belts, a new range of trousers, a knitwear range and a full range of ladies’ clothing before long.
Parallel Clothing www.parallelclothing.co.uk