Interview with "Mr. Style", Marty Hackel

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Co-founder and Principal Golf Guidance Group, LLC. PGA Show preview
Posted on
January 19, 2023
by
M. James Ward in , ,
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Hackel background

Known simply as "Mr. Style", Marty Hackel is an acclaimed stylist for men and women. While best-known for styling the world's most celebrate professional golfers, actors, entertainers and professional athletes, Hackel's ability to bring subtle sophistication that plays to each client's best features is what sets him apart.

He was a trendsetting Fashion Director for Golf Digest for 17 years where he was responsible for making sure players, teachers and cover subject were styled in fashionable and on-trend manner as well as writing the monthly Style Section.

While at Golf Digest, Hackel made multiple TV and radio appearances on NBC, CBS and The Golf Channel.

His career in style and fashion began as a retailer in the 1970s at Dayton’s in Minneapolis where he rose to the position of Divisional Merchandise Manager.

From Dayton’s Hackel was hired by Neiman-Marcus where he held a variety of positions culminating as Vice-President of Merchandising. Following this he has held senior positions at Bottega Veneta, Filofax and Alexander Julian.

The Hackel Story

I always had an interest in Fashion/Style and during college I would spend my free time and vacations hanging out at The Andover Shop in Cambridge MA.

Listening to the founder Charlie Davidson who was affectionately known as "The Baron of Bespoke" hold court and dispense great wisdom to Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, Malcolm Gladwell and especially to the Boston Globe sportswriter, Bud Collins, as well as yours truly.

Charlie was not interested in fashion he was interested in style and no one had more style than Charlie.

***

 

What makes fashion so endearing to many?

It's not fashion -- it's style that is the key. How you wear it is more important than what you wear.

What inspired you to get involved in writing about?

I started writing about golf style when I realized that few people were even talking about what golfers were wearing.

How has golf fashion evolved since you first got started covering the industry.

Today people, and even television broadcasters, are aware of what players wear and how they wear it.

Companies are trying to blend together the fashion and performance side for golf apparel. Is that doable and who is doing it best?

Fashion and performance can be blended together -- just look at RLX Golf by Ralph Lauren, Kjus, Greyson, G/Fore, Holderness & Bourne and Extracurricular. They all utilize technical fabrics in a stylish manner. Radmor is now creating garments with a keen eye to sustainability.

 

What's the single most glaring fault men make when determining their golf wardrobe? And the same on the women's side.

People often get confused about the fit of a garment as this is essential in anything that you wear.

You've seen fashion trends rise and fall. What professional golfers -- on the men's and women's side -- have been the most impactful in raising the awareness in looking good while playing?

Adam Scott (UNIQLO) Keith Mitchell (Sid Mashburn) and of course Tiger Woods (Nike). A red shirt and black pants on Sunday is Tiger Woods. Annika Sorenstam had her own line -- ANNIKA for ten years and she now wears LOHLA and always looks stylish. You can also include the Korda sisters -- Nellie and Jessica, both of whom have style.

 

The PGA TOUR permits players to wear shorts during practice rounds and pro-ams. Should such a policy be extended to actual tournament rounds?

Only if the temperature is above 100 degrees.

If you could change one thing in golf unilaterally -- what would it be and why?

Contrary to what everyone's Mother taught them -- you do not have to match your shoes and belt. Match your belt to your trousers or your shirt.

 

Many facilities have instituted a number of rules tied to clothing regulations when playing. Are such stipulations helpful and what can both facilities and individuals learn on this front?

Yes, basic guidelines are fine -- but you cannot mandate good taste.

 

Best advice you ever received - what was it and who was it from?

Charlie Davidson saying -- "It's not what you wear -- but how you wear it."

***

For more info go to:

www.golfguidancegroup.com

 

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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