Fiona Reilly is Global Creative Director for Ping apparel and has worked for the brand since 2002. In all she has nearly 20 years’ experience in sports clothing design, working for several outdoor apparel brands before joining Ping. She explained her vision for Ping’s Autumn-Winter 2015 collection to Glyn Pritchard.
Ping’s apparel ethos is based on shared values between Ping’s hardware and apparel, reflecting the synergy between the two. Reilly emphasises that design is performance led. “Ping has always led through technological innovation, so at the core of our designs is technical performance. Fundamentally we’re a golf apparel brand and that allows us to concentrate solely on engineering our products for golfers and only golfers to help them play their best.”
Regarding style Reilly says the aim is to produce apparel that is classic and timeless. “Our menswear and womenswear are designed to last with subtle refinements in the quality of detailing that stand out to create a stylish, classic product. We combine that with performance in terms of fabrics, zips, seams and finish.”
Pertex Shield+ has been selected as the fabric for men’s outerwear. “We wanted to partner with a recognised outdoor fabric manufacturer, but not all fabrics have the same performance qualities. Softness and quietness are not important qualities if you’re hill walking, but they are important in the golf swing. Pertex Shield+ is quiet and soft, without that crunchy sound and crinkly texture.”
Reilly has used the fabric for the signature item in the range, the Tour Eye jacket. “It combines a three layer, tightly woven stretch fabric to the front, and a back body with a Pertex polyurethane film laminate. This produces a highly waterproof (20,000mm) and breathable fabric (20,000gm/24h), that is extremely durable and resists abrasion in key areas, such as on the shoulders when carrying the golf bag.” Another standout feature is a vent detail to the chest for additional breathability. The Tour Eye jacket is available in both full and half zip models, with matching waterproof trousers.
Design of the Tour Eye jacket and other garments in the new collection has been helped by input from Ping staff tour-pro Louis Oosthuizen. “He emphasised that the jacket should stretch but that there should be no loose fabric that can distract at address and during the swing, so we have a clean front to the jacket and clean adjustable cuffs for minimal distraction. It was great to get his input as a top tour professional.”
The new A/W 15 range also includes a women’s collection. “Our approach to the women’s collection is fundamentally the same, with performance being paramount and we don’t compromise on the fabrics in the range. Women do prefer softer fabrics and finishes to the men so we’re using a lot of pima-cotton fabric with a moisture moving polyester yarn in our women’s polos, because it offers performance with a softer feel and a finish that doesn’t look like a technical performance garment.”
All the A/W 2015 women’s apparel will carry the new Ping women’s logo. “We see women’s apparel as a significant growth area and we will be expanding the range in 2016”, Reilly confirms.
‘Engineered to Play’ with Ping
Ping’s technical A/W 2015 collection is themed as ‘Engineered to Play’ with the brand’s Sensor platform of performance fabric technologies. To complement the existing technical Sensor platform Ping has used an array of carefully selected, performance fabrics across the line.
The ultra-lightweight Zero Gravity waterproof jacket is a technical Sensor Dry innovation constructed from very lightweight Pertex Shield+ 2.5 layer fabric, which offers exceptional levels of stretch and breathability, (20,000gm/24h) ensuring complete freedom of movement through the swing.
The finely knitted 14 gauge Benedict zip top has a woven overlay to front, body and shoulders, which delivers thermal insulation in the body’s most exposed areas. This section also offers wind resistance, and is elevated by a water resistant fabric finish.
A key garment in the women’s collection is the Olivia lightweight, two-layer waterproof breathable jacket with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Incorporating Sensor Dry technology, the jacket provides long lasting waterproof and windproof protection, guaranteed by Ping to be waterproof for three years. The Olivia jacket is constructed from a soft touch stretch fabric, which is air permeable and therefore highly breathable to ensure an optimum temperature is maintained for the duration of a round.
Incorporating Sensor Warm Technology, the new Nikita full zip sweater jacket is designed specifically for golf. This garment will perform and protect thanks to zonal performance characteristics. Twinned with a refined appearance, this creates an adaptable, attractive and technical piece for the lady golfer.
Nikita’s thermal properties stem from a lightweight, insulated front and back body, which helps to maintain optimum temperature at the body’s most exposed areas without adding bulk, thanks to excellent warmth to weight ratio. This insulated section is elevated further by a water resistant finish.