One of the hot new apparel brands to hit the golf style scene recently is Devereux. I first saw pictures of the Devereux’s shirts following the PGA Merchandise Show in Las Vegas last August. It’s no surprise that the Southern California brand’s shirts quickly caught my eye thanks to their classic good looks, fresh color palette and modern twist on the chest pocket.
I’ll be posting a review of Devereux’s shirts in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a conversation I had with Devereux’s Creative Director, Robert Brunner. Below, we discuss the brand, his design philosophy, the latest trends in golf apparel and more. Enjoy and be sure to check out Devereux at dvrxgolf.com.
GolfThreads: Can you talk about the Devereux brand and how you arrived at the name?
Robert Brunner: Devereux is all about contemporary apparel for the modern man. We wanted to create modern looks that fit properly and can be worn on or off the course.
Devereux is actually a family name. It’s my grandmother’s name. She’s 90 years old and she still wears high heels. My brother and I named the brand Devereux as a tribute to her. Plus, it is a unique name.
For the logo we wanted something that was contemporary and modern — just like our apparel. We had many rounds with a graphic designer until we decided on the logo. We like it because it is very unique.
GT: Your tag line is ‘Proper Threads’. What does ‘Proper Threads’ mean to you?
RB: Proper — meaning the way clothes are worn — a proper look. It’s a very British saying. I’ve always liked when people would use the word ‘proper’ in referring to clothes. As far as ‘threads’, my Dad would often call clothes, ‘threads’. He would say, “Those are some nice looking threads you have on.” I saw it as a hip and modern way of referring to clothes. These two words have always stuck with me and I think they describe our apparel at Devereux — hip and modern, yet sophisticated and proper.
GT: I see a lot of influences from the 1950s, 60s and 70s in your designs. How much did you study the design aesthetics from this era? Where else did you pull inspiration from?
RB: Well, that era is really the only era to pull from for fashionable golf clothes. I couldn’t pull ideas from the 90s or late 80s. (laugh)
Seriously, though, I grew up on that Golden Era of golf. My Dad always talked about Palmer, Hogan and Nicklaus. When I decided to go into fashion, I knew I wanted to do a tribute to their style. I studied a lot of photographs of them as I started to put my designs together.
GT: There is a freshness to the color palette you have chosen for your Spring Collection. It is also a very wearable palette for men. How important was it to you to infuse pops of color into the collection while maintaining a masculine look to the pieces?
RB: The basic colors of the collection are grey, navy and white — but a lot of grey and navy. I knew I wanted to stay away from khaki. No one really wears khaki these days. Grey matches everything. Grey is the new khaki. Blue, especially navy, is a very modern color and it works well with grey.
As a designer I’m constantly doing fashion research on the latest trends and colors. The coral and sea green colors that I use in the Spring Collection are big colors for this spring. These colors also play nicely off the basic grey and navy colors. Ironically, I recently took a trip to the Amalfi Coast of Italy where I saw a lot of these coral and sea green colors, so I pulled a great deal of inspiration from there, as well.
GT: We’ve seen a resurgence in navy blue over the past year. What do you attribute this to?
RB: There is a lot of navy in Tokyo right now. It is one of the biggest trends on the runway. What’s on the runway trickles down to everything, including golf apparel. Navy is fresh. It offers a new take. It is a very playful color. Denim is very popular. I think designers are used to designing around denim and navy is very close to the darker denims.
GT: We’ve also seen a resurgence in natural fabrics in the golf fashion world. You use a blend of cotton and polyester in your shirts and a very unique blend of cotton and baby alpaca in your sweaters. How do these fabrics provide you with the performance and style you are looking for?
RB: Fabric is really one of the biggest things for me. I’ve done a lot of work with fabrication. It can really make or break a piece of clothing. I knew I always wanted to have a shirt with a cotton/poly blend. I’m not a fan of 100% polyester shirts. Not so much because of the look, though. For me, it was more about the durability. I knew I could make a 100% polyester shirt look good, but over time a polyester shirt will breakdown.
At Devereux, we use pima cotton from Peru in our shirts. I did a lot of research on pima cotton. You can’t go wrong with pima. It can be easily worn on or off the course without looking like you just played 18 holes and this is what Devereux is all about. Adding some polyester to the pima cotton provides the functionality for movement you need for golf.
Baby alpaca is like cashmere, but less expensive. It’s big in Peru where we are sourcing the pima cotton. I like it because it is different and great for golf in the spring. It is lightweight but insulates. It keeps you warm, but it also breathes well when the temperatures rise.
GT: The chest pocket is a signature design element for Devereux. I really like that you have taken a vintage element and modernized it.
RB: That’s exactly it! The pocket goes back to the Palmer, Hogan and Nicklaus era. Looking at photographs of those guys, they had pockets on their shirts. Then, a few years ago I started to see pockets coming back, but all the modern pocket designs were the same — everything was square. I wanted to design a pocket that people would see and know it was a Devereux shirt.
I like cutting things at angles. I went through lots of designs until I arrived at the final one. I think it looks cool. The Devereux logo even takes on elements of the pocket design.
GT: What’s next for Devereux? Will you be expanding the product line.
RB: Definitely. Pants are being made for the Fall Collection. We will have them at the PGA Show. They are more of a technical pant — a 92% polyester and 8% spandex blend. They will be great for golf. The colors we are looking at are white, grey and charcoal — great colors for the fall. The rear pockets on the pants will even have the same pocket flap design as the pockets on the shirts. From a fit standpoint, I would call them a straight leg. They are definitely not baggy. People get scared when they hear the word ‘slim’, so I try not to call them that. I’ll say they have a modern fit.
We’re also working on vests, hats and a blazer for the fall. The blazer is important because it gets back to the lifestyle aspect of the brand. We want people to be able to wear our clothes on the course or to a meeting or dinner.
GT: What do you see as the biggest trends in golf style in 2014?
RB: Fit is the biggest trend. Its importance is finally getting through to people. I see the kids coming up on the PGA Tour and they get it. They are dressed properly. Their clothes fit.
Different color belts are big right now and so are tapered pant legs.
I’m also seeing a lot of guys with one loud piece of clothing or a loud accessory. Maybe it’s loud pants or a loud shirt or a loud belt. It’s fun, but just keep it to one loud piece at a time.
GT: Where can people find you at the PGA Expo in Orlando later this month?
RB: We’ll be in booth #4049. We’re also sponsoring the AGM cocktail party, so we will be there, as well.