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Designer Spotlight: Holderness and Bourne

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Founders of Holderness & Bourne: (to the left: Alex Holderness and to the right, John Bourne)

Appropriate featured piece to publish on “Masters Sunday” is the awesome golf inspired line and other cool accessories from Holderness & Bourne. The Styleshack team had the opportunity to chat with founders of new menswear (think; stylish activewear) company, Holderness & Bourne! Also, proud to announce they are one of the newest brands to join the Styleshack.com website! 

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{SS}: What inspired you to start your company?

 

{Alex & John}: We share a deep affinity for golf and a respect for its history and traditions.  We are also particular about proper fit and quality construction when it comes to clothing.  Finally, we are natural tinkerers who like to improve on what exists in the world if we can.  As grad students with access to Yale’s legendary C.B. Macdonald course, we probably played more golf than the rest of our classes combined.  After school, we continued to play but bemoaned the fit and style of the golf shirts we wore. They always seemed to fall into one of two categories: classic or hyper-athletic.  The classic shirts were always cut much baggier than we preferred and didn’t wick moisture well on hot days. The athletic shirts lacked the understated style we associate with the game.  All shirts were mass produced an ocean away.  We wanted to find a classic style with modern fit and performance, so took matters into our own hands and started designing small batches of American-made shirts using American materials.  Classic style with a more tailored fit, all made in America. That was the inspiration, and is what guides us every day.

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{SS}: Can you briefly share your background and how you were led to establish Holderness & Bourne? {Alex & John}: Before founding H&B, we left gigs on Wall Street to pursue interests in e-commerce.  Alex (Holderness) gave up investment banking at Goldman Sachs for a finance role at an e-commerce shopping start-up and John (Bourne) dropped private equity for a digital strategy leadership role at a Fortune 500 company. What truly brought us together was the game of golf and a desire to build something together. 
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Photo via DUJOUR.COM

 {SS}: What do you love about your job? {Alex & John}: As an entrepreneur you do a little bit of everything so life is never boring.  I love that.  It is incredibly fulfilling to see something through from idea to physical product, and gratifying to work with talented partners who help us fulfill our vision. I love speaking to our customers about their experience with our products – what they like, what they’d change. And I love building the future of our company, chipping away a little each day.


{SS}: Where would you like to see the brand go within the next few years? Launch any new product lines? {Alex & John}: We take the slow and steady approach, launching one new product at a time.  We put a great deal of time and effort developing each product to make sure we get the fit, the style, and the fabrication just right.  Over the next few years we hope to grow our men’s apparel business to cover the golfer from head-to-toe, which means developing more headwear and accessories, sweaters and outerwear, pants, and perhaps even shoes.  In addition, we are eyeing a boy’s line, borrowing from the many great brands that offer matching father/son outfits.  Some of my favorite memories as a boy are with my father on the course, so it makes a lot of sense for us to move in that direction. Longer term, we aspire to grow beyond the world of golf, offering our customers a full line of luxury leisure wear for the course and beyond.
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Shop this look – click on image! 

{SS}: Tell us about the locally sourced/production – is this important to you?

{Alex & John}: Making our products in America is a core tenet of the H&B brand.  It may not be the cheapest way to go about things, but for us it is the right way.  We base that decision on the following three elements:

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  • Better Quality – We visit our factory every single week.  We have our hands and eyes on every stage of the process.  The result is less miscommunication,  fewer mistakes, and better products.

 

  • More Efficient Supply Chain & Inventory Management – Keeping our manufacturing closer to our end consumer means faster product development cycles, less transportation waste (fuel, packaging), and an ability to produce in small batches and respond quickly to demand.

 

  • Supporting American Workers – The fabric mills and sewing factories we work with here in the U.S. would go out of business without the support of apparel companies taking a stand in favor of American manufacturing.  We are proud to be one of them.  Beyond valuing the fair labor practices and stronger environmental standards required here in the United States, we like knowing that dollars spent stay here in our economy.

Read more about their locally sourced production here! <–

 
{SS}: Anything else you want to share about the company? 
{Alex & John}: We love hearing from our customers.  Ideas for improving our existing products or developing new ones are always welcome.  We are also heavily reliant on word of mouth, so if you like what we are up to and know any guys that might be interested, please spread the word!

 

—– Now onto your personal style — 

Links_Blue_Field_Driver{SS}: How would you define your style?  A. Classic/Traditional B. Preppy/Collegiate  

C. Sporty/Rugged  D. Edgy/Trendy Links_White_Field_WalktoGreen

{Alex & John}: Mix of A. and B.
 
{SS}: What music are you currently listening to?

{John}: Music is one of those areas where the breadth of the offering overwhelms.  I count on Spotify playlists for curation, browsing by mood.  If I hear a track I like, i’ll save it for later.  It is a great discovery mechanism for new music.
 
{SS}: What is your favorite Sports Team?
{John}: Having grown up on Long Island playing a lot of Hockey, I am a huge Islanders fan.  I had season tickets during the ’95-96 season when they won only 22 of 82 games, finished last in their division, and wore the infamous fisherman jerseys (arguably the ugliest in sports history).  So I feel I have earned some street cred as a fan, and it is nice to see them playing well this year!
 
{SS}: Your go-to Blog of choice? 

{Alex & John}: There are so many.  Our friend Sean Ogle writes a great golf blog called BreakingEighty which features great course and gear reviews.  Graylyn Loomis is another avid golfer posting great reviews.  For fashion industry stuff, there is the obvious BofF and SourcingJournal, but for their focus on upstart designers, I really like the content that MakersRow is pushing.
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{SS}: What is your favorite local restaurant? 
jgmelon20100823_0004{John}: I am a big fan of JG Melon’s here in NYC.  Af far as I am concerned, they serve the best burger in the world, hands down.  Pair that with a bloody bull and you’re set.  I have also been going since I was a kid so the nostalgia factor runs high.
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Photo via Serisouseats.com

 
{SS}: Words to live by OR favorite quote?

“The most important shot in golf is the next one.” – Ben Hogan

 
Wise words, true in life as in golf.  Focusing on past success or past failure leads to inertia or regret, neither of which serves the ultimate goal of future success.  We try not to let past success embolden us, nor past failures deter us, but rather strive to improve every day, every product.  As in golf, the learning is never done, and there is always room for improvement.

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