Course of Style: The Fowler Factor

Course of Style: The Fowler Factor

His clothes may be loud and
really out there, but Rickie Fowler has had a very beneficial effect on
the business of Puma Golf, his apparel sponsor, according to the
company’s president, Bob Philion. “The relationship
couldn’t be better in terms of positioning,” he
said. “He’s young. We’re a young,
developing brand. He has an edgy style that’s completely
unique.”

Believe it or not, when Fowler
wears one of his signature Technicolor outfits in a tournament, sales
soar.

“It’s an
amazing amount of demand, like you wouldn’t
believe,” Philion said, “We have hundreds of calls
coming into our customer service people.”

Philion added that Puma’s
followers on Facebook want to know where they can get what Fowler
wears. His orange shirts, hats, and shoes are perfect examples.

“These are not colors
every guy could wear,” Philion said. “But we are
starting to see strong colors in a lot of other collections.”

Philion said that the saturated
orange shade was Fowler’s idea, not Puma’s. (It’s
the color of Oklahoma State, the school Fowler attended.)

The now familiar “210
Monoline Flat Brim” cap with a dye-cut panther was also made
to Fowler’s specifications.

Philion compared the success of
Puma’s orange golf clothes to the white driver phenomenon at
TaylorMade.

“This industry, like
any apparel industry, is extremely trendy,” he added. (Cobra
now makes a white driver, too.)

Philion
gave Fowler credit for Puma’s “dramatic”
business growth in golf apparel.

“Rickie being such a
solid player has added a big dose of credibility,” Philion
said.

For the U.S. Open, Puma is
making a special edition of Fowler’s Cell Fusion Orange
shoes (shown above), 500 pairs of which will be sold at selected retailers.

Callaway on the catwalk
Callaway Golf, known for its technically advanced clubs, held a fashion
show of its golf apparel and accessories collection this week at the
Sheraton Carlsbad, near the company’s headquarters north of
San Diego.

The presentation included some
cooler, hipper Callaway clothes: slit skirts for women, graphic print
shirts for men, and some interesting art prints, like a color-block
pattern in which the color bleeds. Callaway calls it the
“Rothko” effect, after the abstract impressionist
Mark Rothko.

The company is debuting its own
version of the “street” or spikeless Ecco golf shoe
made famous by Fred Couples. The Callaway version is called the Del
Mar, after the coastal town north of San Diego. Ashworth Golf,
Couples’ apparel sponsor, also recently introduced a series
of casual golf shoes with names like the Encinitas, the Leucadia, and
the Cardiff – all towns along the coast north of San Diego.
At this rate, they’re soon going to run out of surfer beach
towns between Los Angeles and San Diego to name shoes after.

Apparel changes at
Cleveland Golf

Talented designer Claudia Schwarz has left Cleveland-Srixon just a few
seasons after the launch of the Cleveland Classics apparel line, which
was intended to give the Huntington Beach-based company a higher
profile in the soft-goods category. The Classics line will continue
with a more “basics” approach, according to Keith
Patterson, the media and public relations manager for Cleveland Golf.

“Claudia felt the
company’s direction wasn’t the direction she wanted
to go moving forward,” Patterson said in an email.
“She will be missed sorely by all of us.”

He added that Cleveland
Classics, “currently has ceased development of all new
fashions … the company will be implementing a new long-term direction
focused on supporting our highly successful basics business.”

Schwarz said, in a separate
email, that she planned to start a design consultant business on her
own.