What does Modern Classic mean to you?
In terms of how we live and what we do, everything is blending together. In the past it’s been you wear one thing to golf and then you get off the course and put on another thing. And I feel like those days are over. For me, modern classic is how I like to dress on the course, but, to date, there hasn’t been anything from a golf brand that has made pieces that I live in off the course. So this collection is trying to embody that.
How did you decide which items deserved to get blended together?
We started with some smart staples—the things that every golfer has in their tool kit. Everyone has a polo; you’re going to need a hat; you always need a marker. That’s what inspired the base collection.
How did you decide on the color scheme?
They ended up being colors I love—what I call contemporary neutrals. Those dark greens and dark blues that everybody wears. They are cool colors that go with everything, but we also looked for opportunities to bump it. Every guy has a blue polo in his closet, so is there a way to do something that feels a little more modern? But at the same time not trying to feel too sporty where the entire polo is electric blue. We also looked for ways to pick up colors from the golf course; white, the color of the golf ball; blue, the color of the sky. And then green, obviously the color of the grass. But we weren’t going to use a grassy green, so how do you contemporize that color? That was sort of the thinking and inspiration behind these core colors.
Where else did you pull inspiration from?
I like looking at off-course, non-golf things. I love brands that are pushing categories further, and seeing where I can pull some of that into golf. I feel like there are some golf brands out there—and I’m not trying to hate on anybody in particular—but some just say, “Oh, were going to take these cargo pants that are cool and trendy and rad and we’re going to make them.” Sometimes that works, but not every piece of apparel is meant to be worn everywhere. I’m not going to wear a fishtail parka on the course. I love those jackets but there needs to be a reason and function to it. There’s a balance of what works, what makes sense and some level of practicality. I’m not necessarily bound by traditional country club rules, but there needs to be a sense of, “There’s a time and place for everything, so let’s do it the right way.” I’m not going to force it. I wear joggers off the course but for some reason it doesn’t feel right on it. It feels like it’s trying too hard.
In a sense, the entire collection seems to follow the minimalism movement in course architecture.
That’s a good parallel. I’m a firm believer in less is more. You could make the whole thing big and stripey, but that’s a little too loud and look-at-me. I like having things where someone might not notice you wearing it, then the next time they see it’s, “Oh, I just saw this little detail and that’s cool.” Those subtle touches, like the accenting on the sleeves or the pocket button, that’s when you start to get really smart.
A portion of the proceeds from this collection will benefit The Bridge Foundation in NYC. Why do you feel it’s important to support them?
When we first talked about doing the project, it became clear that it was also a good chance to give back. I’ve been following The Bridge and I love what they are doing. As a person of color, one of the ways I got into the game was through opportunity. I was much older, at a work thing and, as most work things do, they just threw money around and paid for my round.
That’s how I got introduced to golf. I didn’t grow up with it, I didn’t have a country club membership. I feel like youth, especially non-white youth in America, just don’t have as much access and opportunity, and I feel like The Bridge is doing a good job of giving non-traditional people a chance to learn the game. I like that they are giving an opportunity to people who normally wouldn’t have the chance to play the game.
Andrew Haynes is a creative director, world traveler and golfer based in Manhattan. Follow him here.
The first part of the collection drops this Thursday 9/12/19 at 4pm PST/7pm EST