Ecco l’intervista rilasciata in esclusiva a Trendy Golf da Stefano Colombo, brand marketing manager di Colmar.
How long have you worked for Colmar?
“It’s been almost two years.”
Where are you based?
“We are based in Monza, few miles away from Milan.”
Do you play golf? What’s your handicap?
“Yes, I’m an addicted player… my handicap at the moment is 5 but I’m fighting hard this season to get back down to 4, my previous handicap!”
Colmar has been around in Italy for many years. How did the brand start? How would you describe its position in the marketplace? And what does the brand stand for?
“Colmar is a family company born in Italy almost 90 years ago (founded in 1923). The name comes from the combination of the first three letters of the last name and the first name of the founder, Colombo Mario. We earned a reputation for producing pioneering skiwear and broke through to the international market during the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo when we were official supplier to the Italian National Team and Zeno Colo, its star. Colmar invented something entirely new for him: a very close-fitting nylon sheath with sides and elbows in bi-elastic tulle. This was the very first aerodynamic ski clothing. Zeno won the freestyle downhill gold medal and the sheath became the best-selling snow garment. We’ve since become one of the leaders in terms of innovation and technical reliability.”
Colmar has broken into golf in recent years. Why did you choose to make the progression into golf? How would you describe Colmar’s golf range?
“Golf and ski have many things in common, so it was a logical step. First of all both are outdoor sports, which means they are subject to different weather conditions in which you need technical garments. The consumer target is also similar because many golfers also like to ski. This is an important advantage as we can exploit the brand awareness we have in the ski world.”
Edoardo Molinari is a huge star who wears Colmar. How much input does he and your other tour ambassadors have into the design process?
“We believe the best feedback and input comes from the pros. Our ski products are directly tested and developed in World Cup competition as we supply the French, Croatian and British National Teams, and we do the same thing with our golf pros. They really help us a lot with product development. Edoardo is without any doubt the most prolific in terms of suggestions and we are happy to see him get involved.”
Does your heritage in performance materials and cold weather fabrics help you to best serve the golf market?
“Our huge know-how in performance materials and fabrics is our main competitive advantage. There’s an indisputable crossover between golf and ski. For us it is about picking up on this strategically in order to achieve the best synergy. We believe the combination of our know-how coming from many years producing ski-wear and the awareness and reputation that Colmar has, are the two added values that will let us succeed in the golf apparel market.”
What particular challenges do you face when designing golf apparel?
“The real challenge is finding the right compromise between the garment’s comfort/technicality and the style that is not only strictly linked to an aesthetic aspect, but also at the pride and pleasure gained in wearing them.”
Golf in Italy is bigger than ever since the emergence of the Molinari bros and the new generation of Matteo Manassero and Andrea Pavan. Does it feel like you are breaking into golf fashion at the perfect time?
“Yes, absolutely. Thanks to our talents, golf is getting popular in Italy and a lot of young people are approaching it for the first time. This means you have a strong and young target that wants to emulate their idols and, of course, their look!”
You sponsor young tour stars like Andrea Pavan and Lorenzo Gagli, older tour stars like Edoardo, and senior tour stars like Constantino Rocca. Does this suggest Colmar is an inclusive brand for all ages? Or do you target the golf range to a certain demographic?
“We don’t have a specific target age or demographic. Our target consumer is simply the fashion-conscious golfer. We aim at reaching those that love this sport, who also want stylish fashion garments that can provide the best performance on the golf course.”
What sets Colmar apart from the rest of the golf-fashion industry?
“Well, I think we have an interesting and unique collection, borne out of great know-how and heritage coming from 90 years of history in sport manufacturing. We boast a strong connection and engagement with the pros, family passion and a genuine love for the sport, and, to conclude, an authentic Italian apparel design.”
What is the theme for Spring/Summer ’12?
“Colour and lightness is our theme! Our Spring/Summer ’12 collection places importance on the new and vibrant colour range and lightweight fabrics. For this reason we’ve developed a wide colour range that goes from the optical white, to the coral and ruby, up to the dark navy blue – it satisfies everyone’s desires.”
Are there any particular pieces that you love?
“Well, the ones I love the most are the Flyer Jacket with its incredible waterproofness (32.000 mm) and breathability (18.000 gr/m2/24 h), and the Cocona Knitted Shirt, a superlight garment that ensures incredible breathability and comfort even in the sultriest days. I assure that once you have tried them you would never go back to other products!”
Thanks Stefano. Finally, what does the future hold for Colmar’s golf collection?
“We are constantly striving to innovate, and really put a lot of passion into what we do in our golf collection. I’m convinced that effort and passion always pay dividends. We look forward for a bright future. Ciao TrendyGolf!”