Looking glamorous on the first tee may not be impossible after all.
Young, hip and energetic golf clothier JeeHee Han has started a chic – yet functional – line of golf apparel, Evan Golf, that will definitely make you stand out from the crowd … in a very good way.
Han took a few moments to answer some of our questions:
What were your influences for your high-fashion golf collection?
I studied a creative field but abandoned it to take on a family business. I was lost going down that road, and felt that I needed to go back (to being more creative).
As a golfer, I never understood why I couldn’t have sustainable, good-looking clothes that didn’t sacrifice design for function. This sparked my creative side to make something I’d like to wear. There was a need for something new and fresh, something that steps aside the certain “look” of golf. This amazing sport can influence fashion and lifestyle.
Younger golfers, like myself, want apparel that fits their perspective and evolving lifestyle. With the wave of young, talented golfers coming in, the industry wasn’t particularly catering to people who have exposure to fashion and an active lifestyle. Evan Golf is an injection of fresh blood into the market.
I don’t feel I necessarily needed courage to create an exciting line. I wouldn’t call Evan Golf high fashion either, as I wasn’t trying to bring high fashion to golf, or break the mold and rules. I brought a different class to golf apparel. I was not aiming to revolutionize anything, as looks of Evan Golf are created by fusing what’s already out there — quality materials and sense of style.
It’s a growing project I keep building. All I know is that it has to stand for style and golf, and has to have a meaning beyond looking good. It’s a road of discovery, a story that’s starting, which I’m going to stick with to the end.
How long has the brand been around and what sort of feedback have you received?
The brand was launched in August, so it’s still the new kid on the block. When Evan Golf was posted on blogs, people left comments that they want to either pick up golf or will play more if they had an outfit like this. Then I knew I was (going in) the right direction and that there are designs within golf that appeal to people.
I also realized I was on the right track when I started getting some negative feedback about my design, that it is too high fashion, which it is not. Evan Golf is not Chanel, Louis Vuitton or anything groundbreaking. Evan Golf has a form that serves a purpose of functionality of golfwear in visually appealing ways. I wasn’t trying to provoke reactions, but when I saw that I did I knew I had something going on here. One can love or hate a design, but if it provokes reaction of some kind, then it served its purpose.
Who is your target audience?
Evan golfers welcome innovation and fresh ideas. They are confident wearing clothes that fit closer to the body, new ambassadors of the sport that cross the borders, or someone who crosses golf and style in life. They have active lifestyles and blur the boundaries between work and play.
Younger people are flooding golf right now. They are really into the game, and have different expectations and ideas of looks in golf. I believe the recent resurgence of new energy into the sport will carry the momentum outside the green.
Choose one player that you feel the brand speaks out to, so we can relate to the character of the company.
I would love to have Morgan Pressel to wear Evan Golf, but she is unavailable. So can I nominate non-pro Justin Timberlake? He’s a huge ambassador of golf that promotes the sport beyond the sports community. Aside from pictures of him playing golf in People magazine, he’s known for charity foundation through golf, and as a founder of an environmental-aware golf course. For me it’s more of how the sport carries from within.
Any tour players wearing Evan Golf?
No, not yet.
In the line easy to swing and walk in? Tell us a bit about the fabrics.
Great fit and comfort are what make sportswear. We put in much more effort in perfecting fit than making something look good. The core of the brand is the comfort. The style is just the way it comes together. Armpit vents, di-cut in the back, bustier with built-in bra, ribs on the side for extra stretch are all aesthetics that derived from comfort and function.
We use top-quality fabrics that naturally do the job, such as moisture-wicking, germ-growth control, odor and temperature control — all this without added chemicals. Whenever possible, we use fabrics that leave minimum impact to the environment during manufacturing process, as we believe golf cannot exist without green earth. Our fabrics are functional with naturally built-in properties, buttery soft, luxurious and durable.
We see that the brand is made in Los Angeles, have you been promoting this?
We make higher-end apparels that need unforgiving quality to every stitch. Quality control is only possible when we have strong relationships and communication with vendors. These vendors can understand every nuance of our designs.
Producing locally also helps retailers with faster turnaround while reacting to micro-trends in the market. It also allows us to fulfill orders more rapidly in smaller batches for faster turnaround. We can keep our garments unique by doing smaller runs of each item and not going into mass production.
There’s so much talent in this town and I’m willing to cut down on some of my margin to keep the work in Los Angeles. The only benefit of producing overseas is to keep the cost down. That’s not what we’re after, so I hope to maintain manufacturing here. Also with the incentive and grants for manufacturing locally, there are plenty of reasons to stay.
What will Evan Golf be launching at this month’s PGA Merchandise show?
We are introducing pre-Fall 2011 pieces of our cross-over label “Evan All.” It crosses into other sports, and is inspired by golf, hence the name. And our debut line of Spring/Summer 2011.
Where can we buy these cool looks?
Our Spring/Summer line will be seen on floors starting April in the West Coast, and we will be updating our retail partners on our website once the clothes hit the retail floors. Please look for the list on our Web site in April at www.evangolf.com.