Fashion Q&A: Designer John Ashworth

Designer John Ashworth

We tracked down John Ashworth, the internationally renowned designer and founder of the Ashworth and Fidra brands.

Last August Pima Direct LLC acquired Linksoul Inc. and joined forces with Ashworth. He was named chief creative officer of the combined company and tasked to create a fashionable-golf masterpiece -- and this is exactly what he has done.

Ashworth took some time to discuss the merger and offer some crucial advice from one of golf’s best-dressed men.

• • •

How did Pima Direct and John Ashworth come together to create golf’s newest and most fashionable collection?

I formed Linksoul as a design company a few years back with family. We decided in early 2011 to design clothing under the Linksoul label. As we were putting the finishing touches on our first collection we were also looking for an operational partner that could help us with all of the day-to-day factors. One day last April my brother Hank and I went up to meet Mark Killeen, the president of Pima Direct. After a few meetings we all thought our companies would complement each other and would be a great fit, so we decided to form an alliance.

• • •

With your years of expertise, please tell us what new design ideas do you have for the lines?

You learn something new every day. I would say Linksoul is an evolution and a refinement of my design sensibilities. I thoroughly enjoy the craft of creating clothing while promoting the culture of golf. As far as new design ideas there are plenty -- in fabrics, styles, colors and textures and how they all work together to create a “look.”

• • •

How are the Linksoul and Linksoul Club lines different from any of your other design concepts?

Linksoul is a sense of style blending timeless and modern qualities that seamlessly transition a person from the golf course to the street and vice versa.

The Linksoul Club collection presents a custom branding opportunity designed to empower and enhance each individual club's own brand. This custom branding option is a great way to increase margin while avoiding distribution channel conflict and competition.

• • •

Where did you get your inspiration for the collection?

The short answer is everywhere. But more specifically our inspiration comes from traveling, from living in a Southern California coastal environment, from interacting with the art world; a desire for understated details with soft, comfortable fabrics that are easy to take care of, and we want to offer quality at a fair price.

• • •

For both Linksoul and Linksoul Club, what color palettes and fabrics can we look forward to for spring? And how are they going to improve our golf game?

The Linksoul collection has a soft clean color palette designed in primarily luxury performance cotton with easy to care finishes. Our second layer categories are made of micro merino wool and 90 percent cotton/10 percent Lycra knit jackets and two-ply cashmere. Our bottoms are made of 100 percent cotton, a cotton/linen blend and also a boardshort/walkshort hybrid of 100 percent polyester.

The Linksoul Club has a brighter color palette and uses more traditional golf fabrics such as Supima 60's double mercerized cotton knits. We also cover the tech category with a 100 percent bamboo charcoal infused polyester plus a beautiful selection of Cashmere and Merino sweaters.

• • •

In your opinion, what is in and what is out on the fairways this golfing season?

In: A better fitting shirt. It doesn't have to be tight with tiny sleeves but you also shouldn't look like a little kid in his dad's shirt anymore. Guys, baggy isn't a good look and it doesn't hide the gut as well as you think.

Out: White belts, neon colors and wearing anything on the course you wouldn't wear on the sidewalk.

• • •

It seems that you have somehow managed the perfect mix between edginess and traditional golf clothing. Is this how you would describe it?

I'm not a fan of the term “edgy” as it relates to golf clothing. But I would say we are doing a good job of bridging the gap in terms of blending modern with classic.

• • •

Tell us about the response for both collections thus far?

Excellent! The response has been super positive for both offerings.

• • •

Is there any talk about a ladies collection in the near future?

It's amazing how many times I've been asked that question in the past few months. But the answer is I'm not sure. We may dabble in a few styles here and there in the future. It's an intriguing thought but a difficult proposition.

• • •

If you were to give one piece of fashionable golf advice to all men out on the links, what would it be?

The old adage, “It's not what you wear but how you wear it/” And drop the white belt already.

• • •

Where can we buy the gear?

At a golf club near you. If not then please ask in the shop when they'll be carrying Linksoul.

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