Callaway recently launched its Tour Authentic Collection, a timeless line of men’s luxury golf apparel that combines fashion and function – and one that took two years of work to achieve.
“It was really a labor of love coming up with all these technologies and fabrics, and making sure everything performs and it feels luxurious,” said Lupe Benitez, vice president of design at Perry Ellis International, which owns the Callaway apparel brand.
No one knows this better than Benitez. It was during a three-week trip to Asia that she lost her iPhone on the first day in China, a tooth five days later in Thailand and her iPad a week after that. Oh, and she went through a typhoon during that trip, as well.
“In the end it was worth it,” Benitez said, “and I’m very proud of this collection.”
So where did the idea for Tour Authentic come from? For years Callaway lacked an ultra-premium collection for men, so the company made a commitment to strive for the best craftsmanship, materials and technological innovation in the industry.
Benitez believes Callaway has delivered with Tour Authentic. From polos made of Merino wool, 100-percent mercerized cotton and luxurious Japanese technical yarns, to a 100-percent cashmere V-neck sweater, the quality goes beyond anything Callaway has done before.
“When the guy goes and touches it on the table and he feels the fabric, he knows this is something special,” Benitez said.
Benitez calls Tour Authentic a minimalist take on modern golf apparel, rather than just a traditional collection. She said the company’s goal is to get Tour Authentic into the top 100 golf shops in the world. The collection is already in St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Whistling Straits. PGA Tour golfer Talor Gooch is a brand ambassador and is wearing the collection in competition.
“I wanted to make sure that this line stood for something,” Benitez said. “I wanted Tour Authentic to be more about simplicity, premium styles, luxurious fabrics and details, and also have this seasonless appeal.
“I always think about Jackie Kennedy. When you look at a picture of her in the ’70s, you never know if it was taken in ’70s or the ’80s or the ’90s because she had that timeless appeal.”
Callaway hopes Tour Authentic will have the same effect for the gentleman golfer.