Photo by John Lok

Photo by John Lok

STYLE ON THE GREEN

As Golf Interest Booms, Kinona Welcomes Women to the Green

For its Fall 2020 campaign, Rancho Mirage, Calif., golfwear brand Kinona relied on real golfers rather than professional models for its photo shoot at the Glendale Country Club in Seattle. The nod to recognize female golfers signifies the hope that Tami Fujii, co-founder and chief marketing officer, holds for the future of the sport as more women hit the green due to a rise in the popularity of golf and other outdoor activities during 2020.

“Our consumer wants to see that our models are bona-fide golfers. There is some authenticity there. It goes a long way telling our story, and it’s part of our values,” Fujii said. “What I am hoping for, from an industry perspective, is that this allows the golf industry, which has been historically a very male-dominated sport, to take these new golfers and take this moment to pause and reassess some of the old rules around the game and the sport.”

Designed around a concept of creating pieces that can easily fit within a woman’s current wardrobe, in addition to transitioning from the home office to the golf course, Fujii and co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Dianne Jefferies Celuch adhered to a palette of easy blues, pinks, black and white.

“We didn’t want to do some kind of wacky color palette that made it hard for people to really commit to an entire outfit,” Fujii said. “We didn’t want to sit on a bunch of inventory, because we didn’t know what would happen. Being able to be really smart about it and a little less seasonal was our inspiration.”

The brand manufactures its goods in the Philippines with Italian fabric from Carvico Jersey Lomellina and has increasingly been investing in a more-sustainable approach. Kinona uses Econyl recycled-nylon yarns in approximately 40 percent of its products. They are sized XS–XL, with XXL arriving in April 2021, and are wholesale priced at $50 to $75.

“We continue to use a lot more of their recycled yarns to make sure we are supporting the environment and making sure that we are doing our part,” Fujii said.

The Fall collection was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak and edited following the pandemic’s onset. After a quiet March and April, by May, golf started to see a rise in popularity due to its traditional format, which naturally allows for social distancing.

Through the pandemic, Kinona also experienced a shift in its business model. The company formerly had a 70:30 wholesale-to-e-commerce ratio, flipping to reflect an 80:20 online-to-wholesale figure as traffic to kinonasport.com grew. This burst of interest in golf has led Kinona to sell out of its Fall 2020 collection.

“We’ve found that people who have not been in the sport are now getting into the sport, or people that were very casual golfers are starting to pick it up again,” Fujii said. “That has been the best news.”

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