LOS ANGELES — There is no official name just yet for a new collar being rolled out – or should we say unrolled? – by adidas on June 1, but if there is any justice in the world, it will be called the Herbie collar.
Herbie is the husband of Tiss Dahan, the director of apparel product marketing, who used her husband as a test washer of a new shirt that featured the new collar. She also took a few good-natured shots at Herbie’s washing skills as she demonstrated the product.
It was his washing skills that made Herbie the perfect tester of the new collar.
“If you knew Herbie, you would know that he washes everything in boiling hot water and puts everything in the dryer. I gave this (shirt) to him and said, `Just start washing it,’” said Dahan, hinting that if anything could ruin the collar, it would be Herbie’s washing skills.
Apparently, the new product passed the Herbie test to solve an age old problem that Dahan admits even applied to adidas.
“We have completely re-engineered our collars. I don’t know that if you notice this on our collars – and really a lot of collars in golf have this issue – where the collar has a tendency to roll. Year over year over year, we’ve worked on this to try and find a way to fix it,” she said.
“We look at even our own athletes on tour. The look fantastic, the shirt performs great, they’re not sweating and then, the collar kind of moves around and it’s frustrating for us because we want every component in that product to be great.”
Dahan won’t admit any trade secrets in how adidas dealt with this problem, but she did offer a cause and effect. The shirts were worn and washed 15 times before the Herbie test.
“This time, we took a different approach and looked at different things,” she said. “We put a lot of heads together to get this done and we went out and made a lot of shirts and tested them on our sales guys, on internal people, on avid golfers and then, just washed the living daylights out of them too,” she said.
“The flattening process is very, very difficult, so we looked at all these different ways. If we make it stiffer, if we make it heavier, will that help it stabilize?
“What we found was it wasn’t just the materials that were causing the issues,” said Dahan. “It was a combination of the shape of the neck, the shape of the collar and something that was happening in the knitting process that we’ve now resolved,” she said.
Maybe, Herbie can spill the beans on that trade secret.