Throwback style is very on-trend right now. More and more we’re seeing accessories inspired by the 1990s, designs from the 1980s and cuts from the 1960s. Designers at FootJoy are throwing it even further back to 1857…sort of. No, FJ isn’t producing a collection of top hats and coats with tails for golf. But the company is honoring its roots dating back to 1857 when Frederick Packard started his own shoe business in Brockton, Mass., that eventually grew to the global golf brand FootJoy is today. To celebrate, the company launched the FJ 1857 collection that includes apparel and shoes for both on and off the course.
We caught up with FootJoy’s Ken LaRose, SVP of Brand Marketing, to walk through the line.
“I think that’s part of the uniqueness of FootJoy that we’ve got over 100 years of history to fall back upon but every single day we are innovating and looking for ways to improve performance on the golf course and off the golf course with our footwear, apparel and glove line,” LaRose said. “With 1857 we’re just providing that in a more elevated package for the most discerning golf customer that wants luxury golf performance.”
The price point on this line is noticeably on the higher side—shirts start at $125, outerwear at $325 and golf shoes at $750.
One of LaRose’s favorites is the white Shield Tip Golf Shoe with a rich all over white scotch grain material. It’s an iconic looking shoe with a quality construction made to perform and endure.
LaRose explained that the process for creating the footwear in the FJ 1857 is one that hasn’t changed much in the last 160 years. It’s a 150-step process that starts with a strict leather selection process to ensure only the finest materials are used. The raw leather materials are then transformed into the shoe upper, a process largely done by hand. The process continues to shape the shoe and build the sole. For an extra luxe touch, the shoes will be available in alpha numeric sizes. That means there will be six different width options to ensure a precise fit.
“It’s really fun when you have the opportunity to build a collection and just seek out the very best without compromise,” LaRose said. “In terms of shoes and the constructions, we sought out the very best artisan shoemakers in the world that are making shoes by hand, where shoe construction remains an art form.”
The shoes shine in this collection, but the apparel stands out as well. The line includes cotton shirts for both on and off the course, cashmere sweaters, layering pieces, outerwear, wool trousers and a premium golf glove.
LaRose’s favorite apparel pieces are the knits and golf shirts because of their construction using supima cotton.
“I love the golf shirts just because the material is so soft and it takes colors well,” LaRose said. “The characteristic of supima that makes it unique is it has extra long fibers, which when they are woven together, it gives it additional strength, durability, it has a super soft feel, in the color retention in terms of the saturation of the color, it is very vibrant.”
He also raved about the cashmere sweaters that will be a sure hit as temperatures continue to drop. While you might not initially think to break out your finest cashmere for a round of golf, it is actually a natural performance fabric. Cashmere has a natural ability to regulate body temperatures and wick away moisture.
The line is versatile in it’s cashmere offerings with crewnecks, v-necks, cardigans, vests and a hoodie. Prices range from $325-$395.
“On the apparel side, we look for materials that were from the absolute finest mills in the world and just went and found them,” LaRose said. “It’s really fun to bring that sort of collection to the market.”
The layering pieces have a more athletic styling with pops of red on the zipper that add personality to the primarily navy jackets. The Double Layer Full-Zip Vest and Mid Layer jacket add a surprising amount of warmth from such a lightweight construction.
On the off-the-course side, the navy Quilted Stretch Woven Jacket is as functional as it is stylish. With more pockets than you can fill, a two-way zipper placket and a durable storm flap, this jacket will take you through the fall looking dapper and protected from the elements.
The line also includes a collection of off-the-course shoes that are sure to impress.
“On the off the course side, with styles like the double monk strap, I think is a nice forward progression for our brand in terms of our style,” LaRose said. “That’s a popular style in the marketplace and an authentic heritage style that fits in really well with this collection.”
The Double Monk Strap dress shoes are made with Italian calfskin leather uppers that look and feel luxurious. Offered in a rich cognac and a regal navy colorway, these shoes will make a statement.
The casual shoe offerings in this line also include a collection of wing tip suede dress shoes that have all the flair and personality you could want, backed up by top-notch construction.
The collection is available now at www.fj1857.com.