So, just how does a player establish his own clothing line? For McDowell, it all started with a bit of sweater envy at the 2010 British Open when McDowell, who at the time was without a clothing sponsor, was dressed in a Kartel sweater, and noticed Padraig Harrington wearing a similar but snazzier iteration. When McDowell inquired about it, Harrington, a Kartel endorsee, explained that his sweater was actually a bespoke cashmere version of McDowell's. Interested, McDowell had his management company contact Karl Swan, the managing director of Kartel clothing, and what started as a run-of-the-mill apparel request blossomed into a full-blown personal-brand concept meeting during the week of the 2011 Irish Open.
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel McRino sweater, $150; a 100 percent rich Italian Merino quarter zip, shown in Loganberry, piped in colour Willow, worn over G-Mac by Kartel Galgorm polo, $90; kartel.ie
2 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
"I like a high, stiff collar that looks formal and classy, with a little bit of stitching detail to bring out the accent colors," McDowell says. "I also like a little bit of extra color on the button details, and pockets that have that retro vibe to them."
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel Sive shirt, one of six new woven shirt style options, all using beautiful European cottons and rich detailing, $140; kartel.ie
3 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
McDowell, a self-described "fussy" dresser, welcomes the opportunity to fine-tune his namesake line. "With our collections, they come to me pre-launch and make sure that (a) I'd wear the clothes, (b) I like the fabrics and (c) I like the fit and materials," he says. "I've always kind of felt like I've had my own unique style, classic and kind of retro, I suppose, with a modern kind of edge."
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel McRino quarter zip sweater in Navy, $150, worn over G-Mac’s favourite Portrush polo in Kelpie, $80; kartel.ie
4 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
"I'm a big fan of gray trousers—I'm not a chinos guy," McDowell says. "I really like a trouser with a great pleat and a really nice, sharp crease, where you could throw a sport coat on with them and feel like you could walk into a board meeting."
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel GMWool sweater, a 100 percent machine washable mercerized wool, $120, worn over G-Mac by Kartel McSuperT trousers, $240; kartel.ie
5 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
G-Mac by Kartel Scota shirt, $140, worn over G-Mac by Kartel McSuperT trousers, $240; kartel.ie
6 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
G-Mac by Kartel McRing polo, $100, worn with G-Mac by Kartel McSuperT trousers, $240; kartel.ie
7 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
"This belt is from House of Fleming, in Atlanta," McDowell says. "I've been buying their belts now for many, many years. I actually designed this buckle myself, based on a belt that I owned and loved years ago."
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel Malone polo, $90; a superfine polyester/spandex blend with button under collar detail and contrast buttons and placket. Shown in Navy over a pair of G-Mac by Kartel McPlainT Super 120’s pure Italian wool trousers, $240; kartel.ie
8 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
"Graeme is incredibly passionate about his clothing," says Kartel's managinf director Karl Swan. "I was blown away by how much he knew. His feedback is so constructive. It really is like having a conversation and a meeting with somebody who has been involved in the clothing industry for many years."
On McDowell: G-Mac by Kartel McWeave polo, $100; an interesting weave design influenced by the basket weavers of Graeme’s home town. Shown in Loganberry over the G-Mac by Kartel McTurtle compression shirt, $60; kartel.ie
9 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
"Some of the great concepts that we're working on in the G-Mac by Kartel brand are classic cuts and really, really great fabrics with small details," McDowell says.
10 of 10Betsy Hansen/Courtesy of Kartel
G-Mac by Kartel McArdish cardigan, a 100 percent rich Italian Merino shawl-neck cardigan, $180, worn over G-Mac by Kartel Scota woven shirt, $140; kartel.ie
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