July 11, 2014
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- 2013 Honda Classic Champion Michael Thompson this year became a brand ambassador for Bobby Jones apparel, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
When you think about iconic figures in the game of golf, Bobby Jones is at or near the top of the list. Mr. Jones brought a level of elegance and sophistication to the course that was unmatched.
Decades after Mr. Jones retired, the Bobby Jones brand is celebrating its 25th anniversary in style. In the process, it is outfitting PGA TOUR players Michael Thompson, Michael Putnam and Kevin Kisner in apparel that puts a modern spin on Mr. Jones’ classic style.
I talked with Sonia Cozzi, VP/Creative Director at Jones Global Sports, about the brand’s silver anniversary collection, why Mr. Jones would be sporting performance fabric if he was alive today and more.
Kevin Kisner at the 2014 Wells Fargo Championship. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Style Insider: Bobby Jones is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Where did you pull inspiration from in creating this special collection?
Sonia Cozzi: We looked back into the archives and took inspiration from what people believe to be true Bobby Jones. Luxury, quality, classic American style.
Bobby Jones in action during the 1927 Open Championship. (Kirby/Topical Press Agency/Allsport/HultonArchive/Getty Images)
SI: As golf fans, we are accustomed to seeing vintage images of Bobby Jones on the course in a shirt and tie. How do the contemporary designs in your current collection reflect Mr. Jones’ elegant style?
SC: Mr. Jones was known as a man of style and class. We took inspiration from his layered looks and compiled a collection of easy pieces that effortlessly work together giving the wearer a sophisticated, yet modern look.
SI: If Mr. Jones was playing on the PGA TOUR today, which pieces from your collection would be his favorites?
SC: As a true athlete, he would be drawn to our XH2O Bobby Jones performance collection on the links. A man used to Georgian hot weather, he would be drawn to the wicking properties and UV protection so much of our collection offers.
Michael Thompson in action during the 2014 Sony Open in Hawaii. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
SI: Bobby Jones added 2013 Honda Classic Champion Michael Thompson to its list of brand ambassadors this year. How does Michael’s personal style and tastes influence your designs? How does his feedback influence what Bobby Jones customers wear?
SC: Michael’s personal style is consistent with the Bobby Jones brand. His classic looks and passion for the game set a high standard for the collection. Not unlike most world-class athletes, Michael is constantly looking for gear to help optimize his performance. Similar to the way he chooses his clubs and balls, Michael chooses his apparel based on what will help him execute best on TOUR. Michael knows that beyond performance aspects of the garments themselves, style elements can help create confidence. It is the old story of if you look good, you feel good. Feeling good and comfortable in high-pressure situations like those guys experience on TOUR every week is critical to success.
That said, Michael values gear that is versatile and provides comfort across a variety of climates and conditions while maintaining that classic country club look. The Bobby Jones collection appeals to the most prominent athletes in the world and the international life they lead, because both form and function are our mantra. Simply stated, our garments deliver excellence on-and-off the course.
Michael Putnam in action during the 2014 Travelers Championship. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
SI: Performance fabrics have dominated the golf apparel landscape over the last 10 years, but cotton is making a return to the links (including shirts, shorts and pants in your 2014 Collection). Why is cotton in vogue again?
SC: Our society has become more aware of its carbon footprint. Cotton is a natural fiber. Much of our cotton is produced in Peru where it is hand-harvested, eliminating impurities, and is manufactured in factories that follow high ecological standards. We believe in protecting our environment. Cotton naturally has very good breathable characteristics. It is naturally hypoallergenic and has low thermal-conductivity making it a perfect fabric for both summer and winter seasons. In summer it protects your skin from heat, and in winter it preserves the warmth from your body.
SI: An increasing number of designers and brands are putting an emphasis on apparel with built-in features that enhance movement during the golf swing. Talk a little bit about the mobilon stretch tape in your shirts and how it feeds into performance.
SC: We not only use the stretch taping in the shoulder seams of all of our golf shirts but we also developed a ‘Back Spin’ construction for our RTJ layering styles. The set-in front armhole and un-seamed back armhole allows force to run through the body into the club, extending the stroke, providing an advantage when targeting that sacred hole.