For years, Glen Argyle has gone with traditional brands that golfers recognize and trust, but lines and fashion evolve and, these days, the Montreal-based company is getting a little jiggy with fashion-forward names, some recognizable and some that are crashing on to the scene.
According to company vice president Catherine Bastien, the edgy look is not exclusively for twenty-somethings.
“People are in better shape. Science has kept us healthy longer,” she said. “The 60 of today is the 50 of before and 50 is the 40 and 40 is the 30 and everybody’s moving downwards.
“I think today, the only premise that stands is if the garment fits you and you don’t look like a clown, it’s all good,” said Bastien, adding that there are parameters when it comes to golf.
“They’re all staying within the perspective of golf which, I think, is key. That’s why we were very careful on who we wanted to go with – we wanted something fresh and new, but I like the fact that golf has rules and history,” she said, adding that there’s a happy medium between fashion-forward and tradition.
“There’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed and there’s respect to be paid to what was done previously, so I think when you find a line that marries both of those things, that’s the key. That’s where you can have longevity too,” said Bastien.
The most recent addition to the lines that Glen Argyle distributes is Bunker Mentality, which has a company mascot named Stella, a shapely young lady in a bikini who, as the story goes, is named after the owners’ favourite brand of beer.
Behind the graphics and edgy designs, however, there is a professional story, as the owners of Bunker Mentality have an extensive background in knitwear for large international brands, according to Bastien, who adds that the company’s Ambassador Program is gearing up for 2010 in Canada.
The program offers golfers of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to actually represent a golf apparel company and take part in sneak peeks, special offers and receive invitations to special events and launches. The number of ambassadors will be limited to 50 per country and applications can be made at www.bunker-mentality.co.uk.
However, Bastien stresses the program won’t be in place in Canada until next year, with Glen Argyle just entering into its agreement with Bunker Mentality recently.
“We haven’t ironed out the logistics of how many (ambassadors), but we are carrying forward that program in 2010,” she said.
“We do have some pros that do want to bring in some Bunker in their shops this year, so we’re trying to do something with them, but that will be the extent of it for this year.
“To get it off on the wrong foot, I don’t think is a good idea, so the push will be for 2010, but before that, there will be smidgens here and there of the brand, plus it helps us out before booking if people know about it and have heard about it,” she said.
For more on Bunker Mentality, see the website, www.bunker-mentality.co.uk.
One Glen Argyle brand that buyers will be familiar with is Lyle and Scott, which is introducing a more fashion-forward golf look with the introduction of the “Green Eagle,” which is more familiar to Europeans than North Americans, according to Bastien.
“They took argyle sweaters and revamped the design a little bit slimmer,” she said. “It got really accepted with the fashion-forward people who were looking for something fresh and new and edgy. They saw the potential, so they kept on going with it,” said Bastien, who has another edgy brand with Pahr now being in its second shipping season with Glen Argyle.
“It’s always fresh, it’s always new and it pulls from other sports, which is great instead of being in the same rut,” she said.
The senior brand in the Glen Argyle collection is E.P. Pro, a brand the company has distributed for over 10 years. Bastien says the strength is the wide range of sizes and selection and that E.P. Pro shows well in all categories in various surveys.
“Other brands joined us in different categories, but the one that stands up across the board is E.P. Pro. It’s a brand we rely on and our customers feel the same way. We’ve had the line for so long and people still have a hard time passing on it,” said Bastien, who adds because of the new additions, the company website is currently under construction.
Once it’s done, the Glen Argyle website can be found at www.glenargyle.com.