For years, female golfers nationwide have yearned for game-ready attire created with today’s fashionista in mind. The apparel industry provided functionality for the athletic woman but unfortunately, sacrificed style. Enter 18th Couture. Since its inception, 18th Couture has been poised to take the athletic industry by storm with its fresh, stylish and luxurious approach to women’s golf apparel.
Inspired by creator Germaine Bolds-Leftridge’s personal struggle to find trend-setting yet functional golf apparel to compliment her athletic and feminine build, 18th Couture is designed to satisfy even the most discriminating consumer. Clutch was able to catch up with Germaine to find out more about her trendsetting collection.
Q: What made you decide to launch 18th Couture?
I started playing golf over 13 years ago and was unable to find fashionable golf attire. When I did find an outfit
that appealed to me the European cuts just did not fit my athletic frame. After countless experiences like this, I realized it was time to make a change.
Q: Is there meaning behind the name 18th Couture? Yes, there is definitely meaning behind the name and it is very simple. I wanted a fashionable yet functional line that would allow a woman to play 18 holes of golf and still be appropriately dressed for the clubhouse (the 19th hole).
Q: How did you and your partner Jody Davis come together?
I met Jody through a mutual friend who has an awesome men’s clothing business in Baltimore, Maryland.
Q: Does the line use any special fabrics in order to offer the elasticity and functionally that is needed while golfing?
The 18th Couture Golf Apparel line is designed with various fabrics that allow a full range of motion during the golf swing like cotton, cotton sateen and nylon Lycra.
Q: What did you wear to golf before launching 18th Couture?
I blended a lot of styles from various manufacturers. Most of the time I wore dress slacks or a skirt along with a shirt that had a collar.
Q: How long have you been golfing, and how were you introduced to the sport?
By the persistence of my husband, I started playing the game 13 years ago. He felt that golf was something we could do together when we traveled, and I’ve been in love with the sport ever since!
Q: There are lots of women of color who golf, but are rarely heard about or highlighted. Why do you think that is?
As compared to the general population, we are still a small segment. However, there are more women of color entering this sport at a younger age. As time goes by their skill set will grow. These young golfers will not just view this game as recreational activity but as a serious sport. As this continues to happen the spotlight will be forced to be on them the same way it happened in the game of tennis.
Q: What sizes do you carry?
Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL and 2-16
Q: Since launching your collection, what has been your most difficult challenge?
I would say that my toughest challenge is managing two businesses. In addition to developing a golf apparel company, I am a manufacturer’s representative selling hair care products for some of the top leading ethnic hair care companies in the industry. Managing two businesses requires that I stay very organized. I have the most supportive family and employees who help me keep all the balls in the air.
Q: What have some of your customers said about the line?
We have held several focus groups to get feedback on the styles, fabrics and functionality of the line. As a result of these focus groups, 18th Couture has received rave reviews from both men and women alike. I always get compliments whenever I wear the pieces on the golf course. We haven’t started distributing the line yet but 18th Couture will officially debut at the upcoming PGA Merchandise Show and the selling process will begin there. The show is being held in Orlando, Florida on January 17–19, 2008.
Q: What types of pieces are in the collection?
Head turning visors, skirts, signature tailored pants, shirts, dresses and tops. Our major point of difference is our “Golf & Tee Pouch” that provides storage and style for your tees and balls in the form of a belted bag.
Q: What are your price points?
The prices range from $24 to $125
Q: Do you plan on expanding the line in the future to fill a similar void in other areas of women athletic apparel? Yes, I definitely plan to expand the line in the future. I absolutely love beautiful golf shoes and would like to dress the female golfer from head to toe. I have some amazing ideas but I’m also trying to pace myself.
Q: If you had to describe 18th Couture in three words what would you say?
Inspired by God!
To learn more about 18th Couture and view the line please visit www.18thcouture.com.
Photo Credits: Roy Cox Photography