Fashion experts react to Tiger Woods’ Sun Day Red apparel line

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods might still be donning his familiar red polo shirt, but the iconic golfer has taken a bold leap forward with a new logo and clothing line partnering alongside a different company that could elevate his fashion identity.

Woods introduced his lifestyle brand Sun Day Red on Monday evening the day after the Super Bowl and during the middle of Hollywood’s awards season. He’s transitioning to the next phase of his career with TaylorMade Golf after he parted ways with Nike after 27 years.

Some in the fashion community believe Woods can survive without sporting Nike’s popular swoosh on chest. He’ll now have the logo of a tiger with 15 stripes, signifying his 15 championship titles, along with apparel that includes cashmere hoodies, sleek sweaters and footwear with his brand’s name etched on them.

“I thought it was very refreshing to see him kick off this new chapter,” said Allen Onyia, co-founder of UpscaleHype, a social media account that chronicles stylish celebrity wardrobes. “The brand has a lot of potential, with Tiger being the face of it, and the machine pushing it. I have nothing but positive thoughts.”

Onyia said Woods made a good move by branching out into a market beyond the golfing realm — especially after the golfer made his own imprint in the sport over the years with his signature cap, sleek red polo and trousers.

“The key thing that they’re trying to do is separate it from just becoming a performance brand,” he said. “They’re tapping into the lifestyle market, adopting different fabrics, textures and showing how it can still be functional. They’re tapping into premium quality, but not losing the performance aspect as well. I’m excited to see the marriage of the two.”

Woods, 48, feels now is the right time to make the transition during the twilight stage of his career because he’s no longer a “kid anymore.” He’s worn red on Sundays throughout his career after his Thai-born mother, Kultida, suggested that the color instilled power in him.

“Releasing his new collection two days after the Chinese Lunar New Year speaks volumes to me about how Tiger and his team are embracing this new move positively post Nike,” said Angela Watts, the founder of Atlanta Fashion Week. Woods’ mother once referred to her ancestry as Thai, Chinese and Dutch.

Watts said the premium materials reflect a commitment to both style and functionality, catering to the demands of modern athletes and fashion enthusiasts.

“His collection showcases thoughtful details such as subtle logo placement,” she said. “The bold hue exudes confidence and power, while the impeccable tailoring ensures a sharp, polished look.”

TaylorMade plans to first launch online the apparel line for men on May 1 in the United States and Canada. The website has already gone live with the hopes of expanding into other markets across the globe. The company wants to add lines for women and children.

Woods already has a deal with TaylorMade for clubs and with Bridgestone for the golf ball.

“The biggest challenge we have is being able to build enough of this incredible product to service the amount of demand we anticipate with this,” said TaylorMade CEO David Abeles. “But we’re going to do that. And like anything we’ve done historically, we’ll continue to ensure quality is priority No. 1, design is cutting edge and ultimately this meets the playing needs of Tiger and the lifestyle needs of everybody that wears the brand.”

Watts said Woods timing was nearly perfect. His announcement comes a few days before he takes his 2024 debut in the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, a signature event on the PGA Tour. It also came between the Masters and the PGA Championship.

“If the goal is to capture the attention of a broader audience and leverage the media buzz surrounding these major events, the timing is favorable,” Watts said. “His collection has smart designs and undeniable versatility. The collection is sure to resonate with fans of both golf and fashion.”