How KINONA Gets Its Style: Meet Fashion Designer Jarlath Mellett
“If we wanted to be another women’s golf brand we would have hired a golf designer.” – Dianne Celuth, KINONA co-founder
You know that feeling of sitting down to dinner at a highly rated restaurant and knowing that you are about to experience something special? You trust that the head chef knows how to use the highest quality ingredients together to make a fantastic dish.
It’s not that different from the process we go through to create KINONA clothing. As a high-end clothing brand, the caliber of our designer and the caliber of the materials we use go hand in hand, just like a quality chef using top-notch ingredients.
We didn’t want to be hemmed in by the mere function of our clothing. We want KINONA clothes to look great too, so we sought out an expert in design, Jarlath Mellett. Jarlath is not a sports designer and has no background with golf attire. But he has a creative eye that comes from his depth of experience and love of fashion.
“My way of looking at things may be different, but I love the functionality and hidden secrets of the clothing that are useful to the game,” Jarlath explains. He was the first-ever director of design at Brooks Brother and went on to lead design for Eddie Bauer, and most recently, Theory.
KINONA co-founder, Dianne Celuth, met Jarlath more than 20 years ago at Eddie Bauer where Dianne was in charge of product development.
“We became joined at the hip and fast, fast friends, remaining friends throughout our careers,” says Jarlath.
Over the years, he listened as Dianne vented frustration with the golf apparel industry. She saw a need for a more design-driven clothing line, one that she couldn’t find on the current market.
The styles were frumpy and they failed to meet her needs as a player when she took to the course. Surely other women felt the same.
“I was fascinated and, on a whim, said that I’d love to help,” says Jarlath.
Dianne and co-founder, Tami Fujii, knew this was a golden opportunity and invited Jarlath to join the team as designer. He’s designed for KINONA from the very first collection in 2017 and the impact of his keen eye is seen in every single KINONA piece.
“I bring my fashion background to this and I've loved clothes for such a long time. I'm vogue.com’s number one user because I watch every fashion show,” explains Jarlath.
The impact of this passion for fashion is apparent in our clothing. Each collection takes cues from the runway.
“I look at the trends, watch people on the street and then the secret sauce is bringing that into the golf world so the styles are current,” Jarlath adds.
KINONA clothes have a personality that’s directly impacted by what’s in the market of high-end apparel.
Influenced by art, pop culture and nature, Jarlath pulls from many different influences when designing for the KINONA consumer. He leans into a modern vintage vibe that brings a fresh perspective to the women's golf industry. Even borrowing from pop culture, Jarlath took inspiration from the hit television show, The Queen’s Gambit, when designing a recent collection.
“We always want fun, statement prints that give our customers a chance to show their personalities and have some fun,” he adds.
Since our clothing line is made to help women play their best game every time they step on the course, Jarlath’s designs incorporate feedback from both professional and amateur players as well as KINONA co-founders and lifelong golfers, Tami and Dianne. Functional aspects of the designs are key to our brand. Our bottoms feature wide waistbands with hidden slimming support to provide a beautiful silhouette to every shape.
“I love learning and understanding what our customer needs in the clothing in order to perform at her best. And I’ve learned SO much,” says Jarlath.
Zippered pockets, tee holders, leg grippers on shorties, and small but useful hidden pockets are built into the designs, meaning that every piece serves a function. It’s these thoughtful touches that make the brand so unique.
Most importantly, the team is methodical about the fit of each piece. You can add extra pockets but if it changes the design and shape of the clothing, it defeats the purpose. Lisa, our amazing fit technologist and industry veteran, brings the creative eye to ensure each piece fits all body types and all our customers. That attention to detail means something in a world of fast fashion.
In our modern design office, we realize that the difference of our brand is deeper than the designs, too. The Italian fabrics we use are sourced from the women-owned company, Carvico, and combine ECONYL® high quality regenerated nylon with lycra for superior fit, feel and performance. It’s cool to the touch, provides UPF 50 sun protection, and when you put a KINONA piece on, you feel great.
“You can't get this fabric anywhere else in the world because they have this technology and this incredible machine that makes such a high density knit. It won't pill. It won't snag,” explains Jarlath.
The fabric is also low maintenance and made to last. Each piece can be thrown in the wash and always comes out looking fresh.
“It's a fashionable garment. From the design to the prints to the colors, we've developed a whole personality for KINONA that encourages the wearer to have fun, feel good, and enjoy the sport they love in style,” says Jarlath.
When you wear KINONA, you know it’s clothing that can take you through your day whether you're golfing, shopping, or even going out to dinner!
Perhaps the best part about KINONA is that each collection builds on a solid foundation of basic pieces and colors reappear across seasons. The whole line compliments itself moving forward which allows women to create the perfect mix and match wardrobe.
“If our customer has a couple KINONA pieces, they will carry over and she can easily buy a patterned piece later to freshen up her golf closet,” says Jarlath.
From clean and classic to fun and vibrant, KINONA has something for every golf style.
Get out there in your favorite KINONA and show your stuff. You’re the ones bringing the runway to the fairway so sass it up, ladies!
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