The founders of the youth-oriented golf apparel company Quagmire have signed a five-year agreement to redesign and, essentially, reinvigorate the Arnold Palmer label.
The deal, brokered by IMG, the international sports marketing firm and Palmer's longtime agent, gives Geoff Tait, the designer of Quagmire, and his partner, Bobby Pasternak, an opportunity to make the venerable brand more contemporary - as well as to celebrate Palmer's timeless style. Their Quagmire golf collection, based in Toronto, is known for its youthful swagger and irreverent high spirits ("Not Fit for the Fairway" is one of their mottoes.) The two met with the Palmer family in Latrobe, PA, last year to discuss the future of the brand, and the new arrangement is to be announced during the Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida.
Word is that the new collection will be a "cool, Arnie Palmer retro line," according to an executive familiar with the arrangement, with designs based on what Palmer wore back in the 50s, 60s and 70s -- authentic, with a modern twist.
Palmer certainly is an icon of great golf style. In such cases the guiding philosophy tends to be one of keeping what was great about the original style but updating it with modern fabrics and performance enhancements. It is not always a gimme. Recently, in a similar venture, David Chu, the creator of the Nautica sportswear label, undertook a redesign of the Jack Nicklaus golf apparel brand, but the partnership lasted only one season. Chu, an avid golfer, remains an advisor to the Nicklaus line.
Older golf brands tend to become generic over time and need an occasional burst of creativity. Quagmire is known for its "surf and skate" sensibility and "chilled lifestyle" wear, according to its website. In other words, edgy and fun.