KINONA: One Size Does Not Fit All
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee is in the air. Sleep is still in my eyes. I’m on the phone with the staff of KINONA, a brand new golf apparel brand for women. It needed to be quick, because Co-Founder Tami Fujii had a trunk show to run in 20 minutes. Luckily, time wasn’t a problem. These women were passionate yet concise on their vision for the Los Angeles-based company.
Weeks prior, I was sent samples of the product and immediately noticed KINONA was different. Their bold yet clean lines and blue color palette are something to appreciate. Its simple patterns are admirable, especially if the bright and patterned design is not for you. Also very comfortable, the clothes move with every step you take. There is no need for tugging and adjusting in between swings— something I had been accustomed to from years of golf tournaments while dressed in stuffy, blocky college uniforms by mainstream brands (who will remain nameless). KINONA understood this dilemma and wanted to create something fresh and unique.
“We didn’t want ‘athletic’ golf wear or anything that could look like menswear,” said Dianne Jefferies Celuch, KINONA co-founder and Porter Valley CC member. “We build shaping into our garments, but they are also appropriate for a work environment.”
Dianne and Tami have spent their fair share of time on the golf course and just like a lot of you, they were spending money on golf wear that was not appealing or comfortable. But what sets them apart is having entire careers in the apparel business. These two met while working together at Eddie Bauer and since then they’ve added names like Speedo, Levi Strauss & Co. and Ann Taylor Inc on their resumes. With Fujii’s background in business and marketing and Jefferies Celuch’s background in product development and textiles, it’s a match made in heaven.
“We just hated how masculine the golf apparel industry was and nothing out there really satisfied our needs,” said Fujii, the Oregon State graduate. “We had the contacts and experience to start a golf apparel line and we just thought it was now or never.”
With a goal of creating not only a comfortable, confident product for women to wear for “golf and life,” KINONA—meaning “Shape” in Hawaiian—strives to promote a better industry for all women involved. Jefferies Celuch and Fujii wanted to create a brand of their own and provide new opportunities for women in golf fashion.
“We seek out women professionals and entrepreneurs to support us so we can properly represent women’s interests,” Fujii said.
And they’re doing that. With a couple of exceptions, their entire staff consists of women. The goal? Offer great-looking clothing that is available for women of all shapes and sizes. With this in mind and the incredible resumes of two standouts in the apparel industry, they are making great strides in the challenging golf apparel market. KINONA launched earlier this year and has never looked back.
“We believe it’s much larger than the clothes we are making,” Fujii said. “We want to help remove the intimidation of the game.”
Just like the promptness of our early morning phone call, the arrival of KINONA is right on time. We’ve needed a fresh take on the industry and while it’ll be an uphill battle in this challenging landscape, I see that they have the right tools and support to make a change for women in the game.
To learn more about KINONA visit kinonasport.com