The Course of Style: Fully Cleveland

Wednesday January 28th, 2009
Cleveland's new apparel line features classic lines and luxury fabrics.
Cleveland Golf

Note to readers: Starting on Thursday, Woody Hochswender will be reporting live from the PGA Merchandise Show in The Shop blog.\n

Cleveland Golf, known primarily for its "monster" metal drivers, irons, wedges and other clubs, will introduce its first clothing collection under its own name this week. Called Cleveland Classics, the line will include knit shirts, shorts, windshirts and caps for men.

Claudia Schwarz, Cleveland's vice president of apparel and design, said the small debut collection pays homage to the classic era of golf. "I went back to even Victorian times and the royal family, looking at old illustrations," Schwarz said. "I wanted to get some of that feel back. It's a classy, elegant line."

In other words, not a "full Cleveland," to use the infamous fashion term, which refers to a leisure suit worn with a white patent leather belt and matching shoes, typically seen in Miami Beach and senior centers all over. With Cleveland Classics, Schwarz's intention is to wed the traditional with modern performance fabrics at a moderate price. Shirts, made of both recycled polyester and performance fabrics, will retail for $50 to $75; shorts for $60; and windshirts for $70.

Schwarz said that Cleveland would be taking orders for the new collection at the PGA Merchandise Show this week in Orlando, Fla., and that the line would be expanded in the fall.

Previously, Cleveland had sold apparel under the Fidra label, which it inherited when the company was acquired by Quiksilver Inc., the surf and board sports brand, in 2005. (Cleveland relinquished that line when the company was subsequently resold to SRI Sports in 2007).

Hartmarx Golf Brands Carry On
In the wake of last week's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, the two golf apparel units of the Hartmarx Corporation, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus, will continue to operate as usual, said a company spokeswoman. While other golf companies have announced reductions in personnel, including Titleist and TaylorMade-adidas Golf, neither Bobby Jones nor Jack Nicklaus Sportswear has made any layoffs. The two labels will be exhibiting and taking orders as usual at the PGA show this week. As previously noted here, a Hartmarx unit, Hart, Schaffner & Marx, the venerable clothier, has been making President Barack Obama's suits. The parent company is reorganizing with the help of a debtor-in-possession line of credit.

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