What is the history behind the company, how did it form?
We’ve been an apparel producer for over 25 years, with one of the largest wool spinning mills in all of China. We are known for being a tailored clothing factory producing suits, sport coats, and trousers for a lot of famous brands in America. Paul Betenly is the tailored clothing brand, and in recent years, we decided we want to have our own golf brand so we created Aristo18 and A18.
What is the difference between Aristo18 and A18?
Aristo18 pure golf lifestyle brand with all natural fibers, and A18 is the luxury technical line with a focus on easy care fibers.
What inspired the name Aristo18?
The word “aristo” means “the best” in Greek and 18 is obviously the best of golf.
Where are you based out of and where are your fabric mills?
Our company is located in Ontario California. We really wanted to create something spectacular so while it maybe cheaper to produce apparel in China, we said let’s produce the absolute highest quality garment possible and let the price fall where it may. So, we have a separate production line here in America so can control the entire process and make sure it is up to the highest standards. The result was a trouser that was immediately compared to high-end Italian trousers that go for about $300-$400.
Has it always been a golf inspired brand?
Yes, we started strictly as a golf brand. The Betenly lifestyle company was bombarded with golf clubs calling to carry the line so a light bulb went off. Being an avid golfer myself, we realized there was a real need for our type of trouser. I have 10 years of experience finding ways to create the best wool trousers in the world.
What makes you unique?
We’re unique in that we design from the bottom up so the result is an entire look that is perfectly coordinated and great for in-stock programs. We really want to meet a need in the market, we have a respect for our competitors like Peter Millar and Bobby Jones so it’s not a pick us over them. No one needs just another a polo shirt but we make it easy for clubs to sell a complete look.
What’s new for the 2014-2015 collection?
Aristo18 wool is created with luxury in mind combined with true golf performance features like our nano treatment to repel water and stains. Our trousers either have a natural stretch caused by a special finishing process or a mechanical stretch using 3% spandex. This season we launched new fabric called Evolution, a super lightweight wool, luxurious fabric special blend of super140 wool, with a small percentage of mechanic stretch for extra comfort.
A18 has an amazing new piece where we were aiming for the wow factor when we designed it. It’s called the Marino ultimate and it is a dual layer where on the outside is a plated Serona polyester fabric and on the inside a Merino wool for ultimate moisture wicking properties. A18 is a luxury tech line for men who love our cotton trousers or wool trousers but need easy care features to play golf in everyday. Our blending of cotton and technical Coolmax is the best of both worlds, and tech shorts are made in own factory that are easy care washable.
What type of client is a good match for Aristo18?
Upper end private country clubs, high-end resorts, and men’s specialty stores.
Which country clubs carry your brand?
Largest Palm Springs, The Vintage, El Dorado, Los Angeles, Congressional Oakmont, Waldorf Astoria, Lake Nona, and Isleworth. There aren’t any in New England yet but hopefully very soon as I went to Babson and have a fondness for the area.
Do any PGA players wear the brand?
Vijay Singh started wearing our product a year and a half ago now. He’s never signed an endorsement deal because he’s very particular about what he likes to wear. We’re close to Cleveland Golf and while he was there, they suggested we send a few samples to him. He fell I love with quality and a handshake sealed the deal but we hope to sign something next season with him where we can use his image to promote the brand.
How successful are shows like the PGA Merchandise and Market?
Extremely successful, all the best clubs talk to each other so word of mouth is our best avenue. Especially when we do a member guest event and people get a pair of our pants, almost consistently the next week members have gone back to their own club to tell them they need to carry the brand. It’s a real testament to our product and service and it’s popular among many golf directors, heads of golf, and golf pros.