Air: In addition to being a player, you are also a designer with your own line of golf wear. How did you get started with IJP Design?
Poulter: Ever since I was a kid, I have always been fashion conscious, and what I wear on the course has always been important to me because I like to look good. What you wear very much affects how you play, and I live by the philosophy of “look good, play great.”
I struggled to find the right clothes that satisfied both these needs, so I decided to take the mat- ter into my own hands and design clothes that are both practical and stylish, clothes that I could adjust to suit how I play and how I like to look. And just like that, IJP Design was born!
IJP Design is all about fusing fashion with functionality, and I’m really pleased with the designs we’re bringing out each collection. As of the end of last year we’re stocked in 35 countries, and the vision is to become one of the world’s leading golf and lifestyle brands.
Air: How hands-on are you with the design of the clothes?
Poulter: At the start I was very much involved in the designs, the cuts, the tartan weave (which is registered with the Scottish Tartan Authority), and I even designed the logo myself. But now I’ve got my amazing team behind me who know exactly what I like, so they pretty much get on with it. I’ll phone up Lucia, my head designer, and tell her about new ideas I’ve had, how the clothes performed in the heat, cold, wet, or whatever, and we’ll make changes here and there, but Lucia and her team do the main legwork.
Things are going well for me on the course at the moment and I realize that, whilst I enjoy being Ian Poulter the businessman, I have to concentrate on my golf first and foremost at the moment.
Air: Are any other pro golfers wearing your clothes?
Poulter: We’ve got some great ambassadors, such as Gary Boyd, James Dunkley, the Head sisters, Steve Lewton, David Johnson and Julian Trudeau. There are some great guys wearing IJP out there. I like to send my mates stuff so they can wear it on and off the course too. People like DJ Spoony, Vernon Kay, Kenny Logan, Tim Lovejoy, and I think Dougray Scott has an IJP cap.