Dan Sullivan, the founder of SOLO Golf, learned about fashion by knocking on the doors of companies and design houses in New York City. He put together a type of apprenticeship for himself while working in banking and finance in his twenties, spending three years shadowing willing modistes and learning everything there is to know about pattern-making, fabrics, samples, trims, and all the other business accessories.
Sullivan stated, “It was completely foreign to me.” “That was the most interesting and fun part.”
Sullivan, on the other hand, was no stranger to the game of golf. Sullivan has worked as a caddy, pro shop attendant, and bag boy throughout his golf career. He couldn’t get the idea of applying his design philosophy to golf apparel out of his brain as his passion for menswear increased. He was well aware that he needed to change careers. In 2017, he created SOLO with the goal of introducing traditional menswear styles and a modern fashion sense to golf apparel, with a concentration on mid- and outer-layers.
“For me, SOLO was more about identifying an opportunity where I felt there was a lack of representation of individual perspectives of clothing in the game of golf,” he said. “It was very singularly focused; this is who a golfer is, this is the uniform they wear, this is the shirt, this is the pant.”
He enlisted the support of his wife, Tessa, an accountant and sales expert, to help him launch the business. The pair used to make all of their garments in the United States, with a factory in New Jersey. Sullivan has transferred production to Portugal in order to keep prices low while collaborating with design houses that specialize in high-quality ski and sportswear. His focus on the manufacturing process, however, hasn’t shifted.
“How we’re making stuff is super important,” Sullivan said. “I don’t want to go to a place where I’m questioning human rights issues, how people are treated or how the materials were sourced. It’s really important that I know it’s being made in some place where the people are happy making it as well… For us, it was really about finding a factory that was really passionate about what we’re trying to do.”
The hooded vest, which comes in short-sleeve and sleeveless versions, is the brand’s most well-known item. The “Fleece Blocked Hooded Vest,” which is now available in shades of sky and olive, has a high neckline and built-in hood, as well as a sensible yet elegant design that aims to extend the golfer’s season while still exuding a stylishly sporty air. The hood, like all of SOLO’s hooded models, is comprised of a multilayered fabric combo that includes Sherpa fleece that is rigid enough to prevent unpleasant swinging movements. The brand’s color schemes are cooler, frequently edgier takes on natural tones, such as the “Nylon 6 Panel” cap (which, in the spirit of transparency, is also named for its composition: 100 percent nylon), which comes in peppy peach and lemony neon. At their pop-up shop in Chestnut Hill, directly across from the US Open, they debuted their summer collection of tops, bottoms, outerwear, and knitwear, which will be available to buy in-store only. So, if you want to see them, you’ll have to take a short drive.
“We take SOLO as our opportunity to express ourselves in our own way and showcase how we can all love the same sport, but we can all be different.”
Original article posted on GolfDigest.com