By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images courtesy of Devereux
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Golf apparel is known for lots of things, but high fashion isn’t one of them.
That impression could change with companies like Devereux leading the way. Devereux was started a few years ago by brothers Robert and Will Brunner, two avid golfers who sought to bring a fashion-forward focus to golf apparel.
The Brunners named their new business after their grandmother, who according to Robert, is in her 90’s and still “rocks high heels. She has always been a fashion inspiration to our family and she has such an elegant name that is strong enough to carry a brand.”
Robert says Devereux stands out because their company has a different mindset. He explains: “We’re trying to attack the market as a fashion-forward company. So we look to the runway in fashion as high-end designers when we’re creating product. As a result, our overall aesthetic is different and our attitude is a little different.”
That atypical mindset shows up in other ways, too. Even though Devereux is geared for the golf market, its products aren’t solely seen as golf apparel.
We recently caught up with Robert Brunner (who serves as Devereux’s Creative Director), and asked him to expand on Devereux’s unique place in the golf fashion world:
GolfTheMidAtlantic.com: What role does technology play in determining what fabrics you use?
Robert: Technology has changed the game in fabrics for golf. Back in the day, you’d get a nice cotton shirt or something similar, but today, there’re different ways to treat clothes with chemical processes – which we don’t really rely on – but, there’re different ways of knitting the clothes these days.
You can engineer cotton and polyester knit together now. Ours would have cotton on the inside of the shirt, against your skin, so you get the feeling of luxurious cotton on your skin. And there’s polyester on the outside of the shirt that helps with the sun.
The way it’s engineered and set-up makes our shirt naturally moisture-wicking and feels great.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: Would you say that you rely on those advanced technical elements the same way the big manufacturers do?
Robert: To an extent, but not overall.
We seek to offer something that’s higher in quality and is more luxurious, while the big companies are 100% performance driven. They’re mostly about polyester, which doesn’t really transcend to a night out from the course.
In contrast, we’re trying to give something much more luxurious -- and natural fibers like cotton or wool are a lot higher in quality and better off for you.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: Color patterns are brighter and more distinctive than ever. Is that a departure from more "traditional" golf apparel?
Robert: It goes along with the technology we just talked about.
We’re able to put brighter colors and more colors into garments based on the system they have in place in the dye houses these days. As designers, we have a lot more ability to create color instead of just having to settle for something neutral like before, whether it was a light yellow or just a blue.
There’s a lot more room to do more with color now.
And golf is a vibrant game. You’re out there in the environment, so color relates very well to the game of golf.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: I like to ask this of apparel manufacturers: what kind of “performance” should someone expect from golf apparel?
Robert: It depends on what you prefer from your clothes.
Some people seem to like the performance of polyester. The problem is, 100% polyester does not provide terrific performance. I guess they don’t really understand, because with fabrics, you need something to help absorb sweat. You need something to cool the body -- and polyester does not do that.
The big companies market it that way, but polyester actually removes sweat from your body and the fiber gets hot.
So in terms of performance, what we have and what I think is actually best for the body, is a cotton feel against your skin – something that cools you when a breeze hits you. It’s the same reason why construction workers and people who work outside wear cotton shirts to retain moisture to keep them cool.
At the same time, our shirts don’t retain all the moisture because we don’t want you to look like you just got beat-up over 18 holes.
For me, it is best to have cotton not only for cooling, but also because it’s something that’s going to remove a little bit of that sweat and keep a good sheen on my shirt and keep it looking nice.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: What role does your Tour staff play in developing the products?
Robert: We have a couple guys on Tour, which provides the best feedback you can get, based on how a shirt fits and how it moves on the course.
Hearing about what they like and don’t like is extremely helpful in designing great looking, high performance golf shirts. You can engineer it, tailor it and tweak it for what the golfer really wants. If three guys are saying the same thing, it has to be right.
Everything has to be engineered for constant movement.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: Would you say their recommendations go more towards feel than style and fashion?
Robert: Pretty much. The Tour players want the feel first, but it’s also the mindset of having something unique and good looking on your body while playing. It’s the look good/play good thing. You have to feel good in your apparel from a design point of view.
But if you can hit both of those, the player’s generally pretty happy and feeling good about themselves.
GolfTheUnitedStates.com: What would you like Devereux golf apparel to be known for?
Robert: We set up the brand to stand for quality apparel in proper fit of clothing -- basically, to translate menswear to the course. Like a good sound garment.
Outside of that, it’s also the fashion-forward focus in what we’re doing for the game of golf. We design differently. We have an approach to fashion where we chase that whole fashion aesthetic and put it on a player on the course.
We want the player to be able to move from the course to a night out seamlessly. That’s what we want to be known for – fit, quality and fashion.
Much of what we see professional golfers wear these days bears little resemblance to traditional golf attire. It’s not that the high tech fabrics don’t look nice, it’s more like they seem a little bit out of place.
Devereux provides a good balance between the old and the new, producing shirts that look outstanding and are extremely comfortable to wear.
You will feel relaxed wearing them on and off the course.
In addition, unlike a lot of what’s out there, they’re cut to fit – which probably appeals to a younger demographic.
Devereux’s focus on fashion just makes you look better, plain and simple. And that’s really what it’s all about, right?
The Devereux collection can be found at better clubs, resorts & specialty retailers abroad. To view the collection, visit dvrxgolf.com.
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