Q&A with Greyson Founder Charlie Schaefer
July 16, 2015
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- Morgan Hoffmann's Open Championship script features classic pin stripes, tonal camos, one-of-kind Fair Isle prints, timeless cardigans and functional hoodies. (Courtesy of Greyson/@morganhoffmannpga)
Morgan Hoffmann has created a sartorial buzz in 2015 with creative and thoughtful looks from start-up brand Greyson. We saw jungle print pants at the Masters, and then leopard and camo print trousers at the U.S. Open.
What will he sporting at St. Andrews?
Our Style Insider had a chance to get the inside scoop from Greyson’s Founder and Creative Director, Charlie Schaefer, on the inspiration behind Morgan’s Open Championship script that features classic pin stripes, tonal camos, one-of-kind Fair Isle prints, timeless cardigans and functional hoodies.
Style Insider: St. Andrews is a spiritual place for golfers. Where did you pull inspiration from when designing Morgan Hoffmann’s apparel for The Open Championship?
Charlie Schaefer: We approach every tournament as if we had an opportunity for a fashion show. The looks should be indicative and relevant to the place and ultimately pay respect to the venue.
St. Andrews is incredibly spiritual. In terms of the visual setting, you have the grey Scottish skies, the grey stone of the buildings that encompass the golf course, and the blue North Sea. The black, grey and light blue palette offers sophisticated colors that pay homage to St. Andrews.
St. Andrews evokes classicism, heritage and is the birthplace of golf. What that means to me is that there is a bespoke, haberdashery nature to the whole tournament. When we play off of pin stripes, cardigans and Morgan’s two-tone spectator shoes, there is a perfect juxtaposition of classicism, golf, heritage and the birthplace of the game mixed with sport, function and fashion.
SI: Thoughtful and creative trousers along with appealing color pairings have become Morgan’s trademark at this year’s majors. The pieces that catch my eye are the unique prints. What types of prints can we expect to see him sporting at St. Andrews?
CS: With any tournament, there should be the perfect balance of simple and sophisticated products paired with more eccentric fashion statements.
We will introduce Morgan at The Open Championship with a pair of subtle pinstripes. Friday he will be showcasing a tonal camouflage with our iconic wolf embedded in the pattern. Moving day will be all business with a solid black print.
Finishing off the looks, we have styled Morgan in a Fair Isle print on Sunday. There are islands north of Scotland called the Shetland Islands. Within those islands, is an island called Fair Isle. The Fair Isle pattern originated in the 1900s, and it was a combination of different patterns that were indigenous to that area. What we did was our own iteration of that – our take on Fair Isle, a take on Shetland Island, a take on Scotland. We created our own print with wolf heads, wolf paws and arrows. It is a custom Fair Isle print. For me the interpretation of the Fair Isle is in black and grey is updated and with the execution of it in a 4-way stretch on the exterior is really what gives it a modern edge.
SI: How did Morgan’s personal style and performance requirements influence the designs and fabrics used in his apparel for The Open?
CS: All of our pants will be made from an extremely functional fabric sourced from a mill in Italy. The fabric is light in nature and is built with extreme stretch and function. Morgan absolutely loves it. As a fitness fanatic he loves when fabrics are light – as light as you can get them, as silky of a hand as you can get them. He is much more inclined to go with a jersey fabric versus a pique fabric.
He loves dark colors. His cars are either matte black or shiny black. He definitely has a more modern, urban style. He is an athlete. He knows what he likes and has a great sense of taste. He is definitely more of a monotone person in a really powerful, strong way. It is a great expression of his personality.
SI: Layering pieces are usually an integral part of players’ wardrobes at The Open. You’ve scripted Morgan to layer up with a cardigan and a hoodie. Talk a little bit about these layering pieces.
CS: The hoodie to me is how sport is having an influence on golf. It is really just exuding more of a transformation of golf, sport and fashion all intertwining and becoming one.
The hoodie is a full-zip cashmere hooded sweatshirt. It has that mix of being luxurious but it has the sport influence of the full-zip hoodie. More than anything we just want to push the boundaries. I wouldn’t say that it is irreverence, but I would definitely say that it is about modernizing the game. In my opinion, this sport influence has been the subtle trend and will continue to be prominent.
I love cardigans. If there is an era that I can speak about, it would be that late 50s, early 60s when you would see these guys wearing cardigans and there was so much style and swagger to how they presented themselves. To me, that was such an inspiring period.
SI: What is your favorite look of the week from Morgan’s script?
CS: Saturday. I really like the nuances of the shirt with the subtleties of the English cut-away collar. Again, the dress shirt blue coloration gives the look more depth while retaining the sophisticated image. This goes back to the British undertones and Savile Row, bespoke, and haberdashery attitude.
The cardigan I love. It is style at its highest. It was born on the golf course and it should be brought back to the course in a big way and worn by the right people - the people who will modernize the look of the cardigan.
The shoes and belt are as important as the pants and shirt. A look is never finished until all facets are thought through. The shoes will be on point with the two-toned FootJoys finishing off a very sophisticated look.
SI: The wolf is a recurring symbol in your apparel. It is not only your logo, but it makes subtle appearances in your prints, too. What is the story behind the wolf?
CS: I have a one-year old daughter who is the love of my life named Greyson; she has inspired me to have courage and faith. Inevitably, it became the perfect name for our brand.
When we started brainstorming the ideas around Greyson, we were inspirited with a variety of concepts all intertwined.
The first point of inspiration was my mom. Five years ago I lost my mom whom had an incredible impact on my life and was very important to me. Growing up, we shared a Siberian husky, which was very special to both of us. We also shared the love of golf and one day I found her driver in the garage with a husky/wolf headcover on it. After she passed, I started using her headcover, which really gave me a continued sense of togetherness and peace on the golf course.
Two weeks leading up to the Masters, while still refining the brand vision and logo I was standing in my front yard at dawn with a cup of coffee. I saw a wolf walk across my yard. I then saw him again three days later and saw this more of sign then a random occurrence. This was the epiphany that brought my mom back into my life.
While trying to grasp the deeper meaning of my encounter, I realized the wolf ethology ran parallel to my life. According to spiritual meaning, if you encounter a wolf, you could take one of two paths: See the good wolf or see the bad wolf. The good wolf has some of the most redeeming and caring qualities you can have. I saw the good wolf in my backyard, which then triggered the concept of the logo.
The wolf personifies freedom, love, loyalty and the concept of family. Greyson intertwined with the wolf logo is our perfect balance of love and family.
SI: When can amateur players get their hands on the looks that Morgan has been wearing?
CS: We will be in stores in Spring 2016. We are really focusing on green grass accounts to start. Look for Greyson in private clubs and luxury resorts along with our own website – www.greysonclothiers.com . Greyson will also position itself as an athleisure brand supplying activewear perfect for sports and leisure. Follow us at @greysonclothiers for updates!
Morgan Hoffmann in action during the first round of The Open Championship. (Andrew Redington/Getty Images)