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G/FORE’s Mossimo Giannulli – Podcast #203

G/Fore Founder/Designer/Creator Mossimo "Moss" Giannulli

You may have noticed that there’s been a big splash of color in golf gloves on tour lately.

It’s not just the standard, all white gloves week to week any longer.

This push for color has been led by G/FORE, a California company founded by renowned designer Mossimo Giannulli.

A golf traditionalist, Moss wanted to add some color to the game, but in a classy way.  He started with the glove and several touring professionals are using the G/FORE glove.  Names like Ricky Barnes, Jonas Blixt, Alex Cejka and Bubba Watson you’ll see donned in the colored glove.

Even Tom Watson is on board wearing the G/FORE glove.

We spent a few minutes talking with Moss recently about the company, the vision and the products.   Take a listen below with the Soundcloud link, on our website or subscribe free on iTunes.

Better yet, check out the glove offerings.  Pretty cool stuff!

Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops. Episode 203. Hello again everyone, Tom Brassell here, thanks so much for joining us. We say it almost every time, if you’re a first time listener, long time subscriber or maybe somewhere in between those two, we are glad you joined us. Especially glad you joined us today, our special guest joins us from out in sunny southern California, he is the founder and CEO of G/FORE, the hottest new glove that you’ll see out in the market, among other things, Mr. Mossimo Giannulli. Moss, thanks so much for joining us man, it’s great to have you with us.

Mossimo G.:   Oh thank you for having me, I appreciate it.

Tom Brassell:  Moss, tell us a little bit about yourself, the company and how all this came together because this is really, really interesting.

Mossimo G.:  Yeah, thank you. I had just sold my company, Mossimo, at the time and we have a pretty large apparel company, and that’s the world I come from, and was playing a lot of golf and realized that … I thought, back in the day, guys had colored gloves and I thought, well why is that not the case these days when color is so prevalent in the game? Tennis has gone from all whites to colors so how is it that everyone just has a white glove, maybe sometimes black?

I began the process of trying to find a great factory and it had to be AA Cabretta so it had to have a particular feel. I didn’t want to be only synthetic because it felt cheap to me. The drag is with a fully natural glove, you’re going to sometimes get color bleeding depending on the person’s body chemical makeup,  so sometimes it can stain. That’s the good news about going to synthetic versus Cabretta but it had to have a certain hand feel. I had to sew the fingers a certain way so that there would be no … When you put it on your hand you’ll have zero seam feeling inside your fingertips which has been all the tour guys, we’ve had from Ricky Barnes to Jonas Blixt to Alex Cejka to Tom Watson and now Bubba, those guys marvel on the hand feel so that’s been really great.

I was selling a company, playing a lot of golf, figured it might be something fun to do because I’m not that old yet and didn’t want to just do nothing. When I went, I went to the PGA Show very early on with just a very tiny booth and thirteen colors of gloves and people thought we were crazy and then it just started to take hold. Now, FootJoy has a version and Callaway has a version and Puma has a version so I sort of view it as denim, right? There’s a bunch of denim makers or a watch, there’s Timex and there’s Rolex, I kind of think we’re the Rolex of the gloves.

Tom Brassell:  Well, imitation’s the sincerest form of flattery.

Mossimo G.: Right, yeah.

Tom Brassell: You talk about going back and how they used to wear color. I remember, I’m dating myself, as a young boy going to my first golf tournament and seeing Doug Sanders. Doug Sander’s glove and his slacks and the mock he was wearing and the shoes, everything matched whatever day it was.

Mossimo G.:   Yeah.

Tom Brassell:  What kind of fashion was that.

Mossimo G.:  The irony of Doug Sanders is that he calls to get gloves from us. He’s not playing so much anymore but he walked around the PGA show in his purple pants and he came to the booth and took a purple glove. Like, he’s crazy. He was the godfather of color. His story’s real interesting as to how he got onto all the color stuff but kind of a trip. Yes, you’re right, he was … Even Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, they all had it. Tom Watson back in the day had colored gloves so when we went to him, he was all too familiar and real excited that he could do that again. If you think about it, for me, I come from a fashion background, it’s sort of like a pocket square, it’s just a little bit of color that accentuates the aesthetic and it’s kind of nice and it’s different and, provided it’s good quality, it’s not some hokey product, that’s for sure.

Tom Brassell:   Yeah, but a pocket square’s not going to affect your game and obviously your glove has the feel that, you mentioned a lot of pretty powerful names out there on tour, and one you didn’t mention that I noticed this weekend that was wearing it, the big left hander Bubba Watson.

Mossimo G.: That’s right.

Tom Brassell:   It’s not just a pocket square, talk about the feel of this glove, it’s pretty amazing.

Mossimo G.:  The feel of it, it is AA Cabretta, it’s the best Cabretta leather you can get. It’s just thin enough so that you really feel your hands and the club. I think for the guys at that level, it’s super important. I don’t know that any guy on the tour would wear it if it didn’t help or if it wasn’t of the utmost quality. A white glove without the pigment, you can get pretty thin, so we’ve been able to do it with color and get that great hand feel.

Tom Brassell:  Well, just knowing what you’ve done and seeing the gloves and you also have some limited edition gloves, you’re not really stopping there. There’s some footwear out there as well along with some accessories and apparel, right?

Mossimo G.:  That’s correct. The deal was I was going to start in glove land and see what the industry was. I didn’t want to come in guns blazing, even though my background was out of apparel, I thought I’m going to do this from a completely different perspective. Like some of the high end … If you go back and look at the high end European luxury brands, they started in the accessory space and then they branch out so I always thought, I’m going to try to do that domestically. I think that’s sort of interesting. I started with the glove and then went to the shoes.

Our whole thing in this building is we have to be decidedly different. No one needs another something that you already have, it’s just pointless. With the shoe, we did a really interesting thing in that it looks as if it’s a casual shoe. It’s got the interior made up of that of an athletic shoe but the exterior looks more closer to a casual dress shoe. It’s got just enough color and it’s a little unique and so we feel like we’re in this neat space. Bubba’s also wearing the shoe as well. We created some custom stuff for him for Augusta. We’re having a lot of fun with the shoe piece, which you guys are going to have shortly. I think in June you’re going to get those in the stores and we’re looking for that to be pretty successful as well.

Tom Brassell:  Yeah, that’s a great way to describe it, Moss, you said the athletic on the inside and on the outside it looks like something you could wear to a cocktail party or to an event or whatever. It’s really, really classy looking, yeah.

Mossimo G.: That was the whole thing in that, I play golf Fridays with my friends and I usually go meet my wife for dinner or a drink afterwards, When I leave the club, I go straight in and no one, unless you saw the bottom of my feet, you’d have no clue I was in golf shoes. That sort of was the driving force as to the aesthetic and to make sure that if you have a nice pair of trousers on … There’s the athletic guys that are in this space that I’ll never compete with, there’s huge companies, great marketing dollars, they’re best in class, they’re great at what they do. We’re a fashion oriented, luxury brand, the way I look at it. When a gentleman wears a pair of slacks on a golf course, I think they look goofy as hell when they wear tennis shoes or athletic shoes. We’re trying to give you the comfort and feel and stability and technology but then give it an aesthetic that looks right with a pair of wool slacks or whatever.

Tom Brassell:  You teased us a little bit saying the shoes will be in stock at Worldwide Golf Shops and EdwinWattsGolf.com probably in June but, right now, a lot of the gloves are there. You go to Worldwide Golf Shops and EdwinWattsGolf.com for the gloves and also to see everything else and GFORE.com is the website, correct?

Mossimo G.: That’s correct.

Tom Brassell:   That’s G-F-O-R-E.com and also the other social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and so on and so forth, correct?

Mossimo G.:  Exactly, exactly.

Tom Brassell:   Well, Moss, thanks so much for carving some time out for us. Before we let you go, just final comments from you, it’s an interesting story, you’re a very interesting gentleman. What I read about you before I got on the phone with you was, you’re going to play golf in slacks, you’re a traditionalist and obviously when we mentioned colors, we’re not mentioning wild stuff that people … This is classy, classy stuff.

Mossimo G.:     Yeah, this isn’t Loudmouth. It’s funny because if you saw … Do you go to the PGA Show?

Tom Brassell:    Oh yes.

Mossimo G.:   Are you at the show? If you see our booth or our office space, whether it be our packaging, there’s a real message and it is very elegant and yes it is color but hopefully done in a tasteful and traditional yet sort of pushed avant-garde for tradition but pushed a little bit with all the right … It’s coming from the right base, it’s not that of a goofy, colorful, Loudmouthy sort of a thing. I probably shouldn’t say that but I don’t know how best to describe it.

Tom Brassell:    GFORE.com‘s the company, Moss joining us. Moss, thanks so much for your time and hopefully we can do it again down the road and we’ll see you at the show if not earlier.

Mossimo G.:    antastic. Thank you very much.

Tom Brassell:     Well, in the golf business you meet some interesting people and get some interesting stories and this is sure one of them. GFORE golf, the absolute gorgeous color ways gloves they have, the footwear. Gloves available now at WorldwideGolfShops.com and EdwinWattsGolf.com, check them out. Special thanks again to Moss, that’s Mossimo Giannulli, the founder of the company, for joining us and to you our listeners. We’ll do it again next time when we have another episode of GolfBetter at WorldwideGolfShops.com. So long everyone.