I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robert Brunner, Creative Director for Devereux, about his company, his vision for golf apparel, and who wins the golf matches between him and his brother.
Plugged In Golf: Your website says you and your brother are avid golfers. How were you introduced to the game?
Robert Brunner: Through my father. I started as a kid, just imitating my dad.
PIG: Who’s the better player?
PIG: (Laughing) Would he agree?
RB: Yeah! He better! But Dad still whoops me, even though he’s almost 60.
PIG: Do you and your brother come from a fashion/apparel background? How did you go about launching Deverux?
RB: No. I went to TCU to study geology. I came home and was working in the gas industry and didn’t like it, so I went to LA and went to fashion school for a year. Then I came up with the idea of doing a contemporary men’s golf line. Things took off a lot faster than I expected.
PIG: How did your brother get involved?
RB: I pitched the idea to him and he came on board. He always wanted to do fashion, too. He does business operations, and he’s been a huge help with this.
PIG: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?
RB: Honestly, I don’t feel like we’ve had any really big ones. But this is just our first year. The biggest thing has been manufacturing, just making the clothes. Everything is foreign, so that’s been the toughest thing for us. We’ve been fortunate in the golf world, to get set up with some pretty good people through some friends and that’s been great for us. It’s such a niche community and you’ve got to break into it somehow.
PIG: What’s behind the name, Devereux?
RB: It’s my grandmother’s name. She turns 90 in March. We just named it after her, we wanted to keep it in the family. She still wears high heels to this day, she’s a neat old lady.
PIG: There are more than a few golf apparel companies. What made you decide to create a new one?
RB: It all came from when I played, thinking, “What can I wear?” There’s Puma, which is all flashy. I went through my Puma phase. The problem is that there’s nothing that was fun on the course and off the course. Nothing for a night out. I wanted to do something contemporary, more fashionable, with an appropriate fit. Lots of shirts are a boxy cut, not well tailored, mass produced. My idea was to create something more modern. Men are progressing, they know more about what they’re wearing, and I think they want something more appropriate, more proper.
PIG: What are the goals for Devereux, both short and long term?
RB: Short term, getting the men’s line up and running, building our name and reputation. Long term, I want to turn Devereux into a lifestyle brand. We want to expand to other elements, more higher end, proper wear. Success would be people accepting my brand, my style. I get enjoyment from seeing people wearing it, enjoying it.
PIG: Who do you view as peers or similar companies in this industry?
RB: A few brands are young, contemporary, fun. Dunning Golf is great. J Lindeberg has quality of fit, a little more European. RLX is another great brand. To me, those are the higher end, fun brands that I like.
PIG: What separates Devereux from those peers?
RB: Everyone has their style preferences; everyone cares what they look like. Everyone’s style is their own opinion. Devereux is fun, it’s a neat, contemporary brand, it pushes the limits. It shows details that other brands don’t have. I think it elevates how you feel, how you dress and, of course, the quality is there.
PIG: Most people would say, “A golf shirt is a golf shirt.” What are the big things and the small things that make your shirts unique?
RB: Quality is first and foremost with any garment. Devereux is big on quality. We use the finest fibers to make the finest fabrics. There are a lot of small details, too. We have a slightly smaller spread cut collar that’s out of the way when you’re playing. We created a new fit, a better fit, that takes into account the male build. The placard is thinned out. Details that are minimal in a way, like the smaller pocket. They are all simple, smaller details that give it its character.
PIG: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.
Be sure to also check out our review of Devereux golf apparal HERE.
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