KINONA is made by women golfers, for women golfers - you’ve probably heard us say that a time or two. But what does that mean in practice? In this short feature, we highlight a key reason KINONA is a cut above in this industry: Jarlath Mellett, KINONA’s lead designer.
If you’ve ever met Jarlath, you’ll instantly love him. Is it the Irish accent, his huge grin, or his ability to be sincere and attentive? We think it’s a combination of all those things. It comes as no surprise that when asked what three words describe him, he responded “Heart, huge, and love.”
Born and raised outside of Dublin, Ireland, Jarlath always had an eye for design. He was drawn to New York City, and after studying at St. Martins School of Art in London, he studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and built a career in apparel design. After a successful run as a fashion designer, he transitioned to interior design and spent over a decade running his own company before moving back to apparel design.
His transition back to fashion came about 15 years ago. It was natural: “I’ve always loved fashion for as long as I can remember,” he said. “And I’m probably the single biggest user of vogue.com.”
In his illustrious career in the high fashion industry, he led women’s design for Brooks Brothers, Theory, and the Ministry of Supply. In each position, he was the one taking on the challenge of designing new products, new lines, and he made a name for himself because he’s always looking at how to solve a problem.
Jarlath and Dianne met over 20 years ago while working at Eddie Bauer. When Tami and Dianne started working on KINONA, they immediately thought of Jarlath as the perfect person to shift the paradigm of “appropriate golf attire” and inspire women to play their game, their way.
Since then, Jarlath has brought vision, design, and fashion to the problem Dianne and Tami were trying to solve. KINONA lit a fire in the trio, and Jarlath has been behind each of KINONA’s collections since their launch in 2018. When asked how he decides to take on new projects, “There has to be a reason, there has to be a mission,” he explained. “And that’s what drew me to KINONA.”
When Jarlath creates a new design for KINONA, he has a lot to keep in mind. Each product is fit-tested for active golfing and continually focused on product performance.
Here are a few of the elements that Jarlath’s designs for KINONA address:
- Sun protection with fabrics that offer UPF 50+ sun protection
- Preventing sweat stains with moisture-wicking, antimicrobial fabric
- Golf-friendly elements like tee holders in the pockets of all skorts, shorts, dresses, and jackets
- Shaping details build into every product, including higher waistbands and princess seam lines
- Machine washable, so women can avoid the dreaded dry clean only tag
- Ditching the conservative golf look with playful, colorful styles and prints
By taking his inspiration straight from the runway, he brings fun, chic, and contemporary fashion to the fairway. Here’s just a small taste of some of the ways customers appreciate all that Jarlath has done to “shape” KINONA into what it is today.