Behind The Scenes | Product Design & Development

The foundation of Straight Down is built upon the innovation and hard work of each department. One team in particular, Product Design & Development, are at the forefront of that advancement. We sat down with Katie and Lindsay, our Product Designer and Product Developer, to learn more about their backgrounds, inspirations and process in the creation of Straight Down apparel.

 Where are you from? What is your background in Product Design & Development?

Katie: I’m from the UK. Based in London I designed for directional fashion & denim brands before moving to the central coast and joining the golf world.

Lindsay: As a Central Coast native, I have had a relationship with Straight Down since childhood. I remember going with my parents and shopping at Straight Down, when they had a storefront downtown. For our family, a gift from Straight Down was something really special, and it was our go-to brand during the holidays. I had an opportunity to work for Straight Down early into my career, and now, years later, I’ve made my return. It is exciting and encouraging to see how the brand has evolved and grown over the years. I’m looking forward to helping elevate our product and further solidify our unique space in the market.

 

What is your favorite part of being a product designer / developer?

Katie: Being able to use my creativity on a daily basis and bring ideas to life. We work with people all around the world.  

Lindsay: I love figuring out how things are made. For me, working on a garment is like a tiny engineering project. It is so much more than drawing pictures and choosing materials. There is math and science involved; finding a balance of form and function is essential to creating a successful product.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from for Straight Down’s popular polo prints?

Katie: Inspiration for SD polo prints comes from the personality of the company and its employees. There is never a problem finding personality. I also keep an eye on fashion, with a twist of golf.

Lindsay: I love talking to my friends and my parent’s friends about their hobbies, travels and interests. There are so many ideas that can come from a simple conversation. 

How do you go about choosing the colors for the next line?

Katie: Choosing colors is a combination of research and intuitive forecasting. I am constantly looking at color and which colors work together. Every shade is carefully selected. We consider many things when choosing color including the weather and different locations.

Lindsay: When I’m thinking about color, I consider trends, previous sales, color progression and gut instinct.

 

How do you go about creating product for both golf and the outdoors?

Katie: Golf comes first but influence of the outdoors is an important part of the brand, thanks to the exceptional location of our HQ. I love how much pride the golfing world takes in clothing, both now and historically. As a team we are always talking about what product works and what we can introduce. We get a lot of inspiration from visiting the golf clubs or catching up with our sales team and we enjoy taking a few risks.

Lindsay: Most of my career has been outdoor/lifestyle product oriented, but I’m surrounded by people who love golf, so for me the combination feels pretty natural. I’m constantly thinking how can I take something that is popular in the golf market and expand on it to make it technically appropriate for outdoors. Or is there something being offered in Outdoor, that the golf market would also love? The two ideas are not as far apart as they may seem.

 

What do you do to set Straight Down products apart?

Katie: Straight Down has an independent authenticity about it. Not everything has to be a big company corporate decision. As I mentioned earlier, it’s the personality of the brand that sets us apart.

Lindsay: Straight Down has developed a niche voice over the years. I think that my experience in the outdoor industry can help Straight Down continue on the path that they are on.

 

What is your favorite product you’ve designed and developed?

Katie: I am most excited about the new Pima cotton blends we introduced this season, made in Peru. This includes the “Wilson” yarn dye polo and the “Groves” cotton/modal hoodie - very premium product in amazing colors. Another favorite polo is the “GTO”, influenced by the classic 1964 Pontiac.

Lindsay: We are working on so many new products, it’s difficult to choose. I’m currently loving the women’s line, since I can also wear it. But some of our outerwear that is in the work is pretty exciting as well.

 

What do you foresee in the future for Straight Down apparel? What would you like to create and/or change?

Katie: We expanded the womenswear range for SP23. I am excited about this new growth area with even more new product to introduce next season. We are having fun, so more of that.

Lindsay: I see us continuing to build on the brand’s success and further cementing our niche. From a product standpoint, there is always space to improve, streamline, edit and expand. I’d like to continue improving our processes, so that we are able to focus on building better product season after season. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next generation of core pieces will be.

1 comment

Katie and Lindsay, look fwd to meeting you gals this fall when I visit Mike, would love to have ur emails as I travel around the country seeing so many shops and I always bang Mike about this or that, would rather send to you guys!! We do need “Khaki” bottoms for men, I think we are missing that color, I’m sure it was a decision to not have it? Thanks and keep up the great work you both do!!!

bob ford August 09, 2022

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