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Online retailer Bonobos is teeing up its own golf brand, called Maide, which launches at maidegolf.com on Tuesday. It is the first new brand incubated by Bonobos since the company was founded in 2007.
This story first appeared in the March 19, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Maide, which means “stick” or “club” in Gaelic, will launch with 20 styles and colors for spring, doubling its assortments by this summer. The initial collection includes pants, shorts, polo shirts and sweaters, with outerwear and accessories to be added next year.
Bonobos, which is partly owned by Nordstrom Inc., previously offered a small range of golf pants and polo shirts under its own label, which accounted for 2.5 to 3 percent of total sales. “I thought it was amazing product and it deserved its own place to be heroic,” said Andy Dunn, founder and chief executive officer of Bonobos, of the decision to create a stand-alone brand for the line.
According to the company’s own research, about 25 percent of Bonobos customers are golfers or are interested in the sport. Sales of golf pants and shirts at Bonobos grew 180 percent in 2012, said Dunn, outpacing the more than 100 percent growth in total brand. Dunn declined to provide total volume for the company.
Bonobos has tapped Ian Velardi as design director, overseeing the design of both Maide and the tailored clothing and outerwear categories of Bonobos-branded product. Velardi will continue to design his own namesake men’s label, which sells at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and Scoop. Bonobos plans to provide support and infrastructure to help grow the Ian Velardi business.
At Bonobos, Velardi reports to Dwight Fenton, who has joined the company as vice president of design from J. Crew, where he was senior director of men’s wear. Fenton reports to Dunn.
Bonobos is aiming for Maide sales of $2 million this year. Apart from the e-commerce site, which links to a shop-in-shop within Bonobos.com, the line will be wholesaled to select green-grass shops.
Maide pants retail for $108, and shorts for $88, both constructed from performance polyester fabric with details like a discrete zippered hem on the leg and an interior gel waistband strip that helps keep a polo shirt tucked in. Polo shirts are $78 in five solid colors and three striped styles. Cotton V-neck and cardigan sweaters are $88 to $98 in solid colors and engineered stripes.
The look of the collection draws from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. “There was a tailored, gentlemanly aesthetic that guys had on the course back then, during the golden age of golf,” noted Kevin Kelleher, brand lead for Maide.