THE BEGINNING – BREATHABLE PERFORMANCE APPAREL
In 2008, Michael Moir, from Aberdeen, Scotland, arrived in Bangkok, Thailand unsure of what the next chapter of his life would be. An avid golfer, while still looking for work, he decided to sign up for various tournaments and corporate golf days around the Bangkok area to keep his game sharp and to network with some like-minded ex-pats and golfers. He enjoyed the golf courses, the camaraderie, and the competition, however, one thing would frequently make the events challenging – the suffocating nature of the polo shirts handed out to all participants to wear. Particularly in the sweltering heat of Thailand, the low-quality fabrics and lack of breathability made playing the game problematic, regardless of how he played.
There was a market there, and Michael sought to tackle this obvious problem. He immediately went to work by sourcing a local factory and getting lighter weight, more breathable polo shirts made up to sell to companies who were hosting corporate golf days. The customers were thankful for the upgrade, and a business was thereon born. From there, Michael took his venture to the next stage by setting up Fenix Apparel and Accessories, a company that not only catered to the corporate event market but became a brand in itself, and its shirts were soon found on the shelves of pro shops and on the backs of both casual golfers and touring professionals around the world.
THE FENIX COMES TO LIFE
As the business began to grow beyond Thailand and into neighboring countries, it became clear that there were two distinct markets that could be served with polo shirts; Firstly, the corporate market, where customers could give the shirts to their staff to wear as uniforms, to their own clients as gifts, or as mentioned, to guests of their corporate golf days. Secondly, however, was the individual consumer, who simply wanted a quality polo shirt to play golf in, or wear to the gym, or perhaps wear in their own leisure time. Recognizing this, Michael split the company into two separate arms: Fenix Custom, which would continue to provide bespoke, breathable performance apparel for the corporate market, and Fenix XCell, a retail brand that could be readily accessible to the regular consumer, and eventually a presence in the world of golf apparel.
The apparel industry, however, and particularly the golf apparel industry, was highly competitive, with big-name brands dominating the majority of the market. In Asia, however, fashion trends tended to be a little different to the rest of the world. Golfers tended to prefer louder, more colorful apparel, and Michael recognized that there was potential there. As it developed, the Fenix XCell brand became known for its eye-catching, flamboyant, but tasteful designs and the Asian market caught on. Brand Ambassador Scott Hend became well known on the Asian and European Tours for his preference for Fenix XCell’s signature “Camo” designs and drew the attention of millions worldwide when he wore it in the final group of the 2016 BMW PGA Championship (see pictured).
TEAM FENIX XCELL
The ideal brand ambassador for his outgoing personality and sense of style, Australian Scott Hend became the company’s first truly global brand ambassador, as he travelled the world playing tournaments in Asia, Europe, and beyond. Since signing with us, he has amassed an incredible trophy haul of 10 Asian Tour wins and 3 European Tour wins, becoming well known in the world of golf for not only his jet setting exploits but also his ruthless winning streak.
In 2017, we decided to acknowledge our Thai roots, by signing then 3-time European Tour winner and Thailand’s number 1 ranked player, Kiradech Aphibarnrat. Again, Kiradech with his aggressive, fearless style of play and penchant for an eye-catching outfit, aligned with our brand perfectly. He has since been with us for almost 3 years, and in that time has notched up another European Tour win at the 2018 ISPS Handa World Super 6s (see pictured), secured his full playing rights on the PGA Tour, being the first Thai ever to do so, and saw his World Ranking reach a peak of 29th earlier in 2019.
In addition to the global exposure provided by Hend and Aphibarnrat, we are delighted to give back to the local community here in Thailand by supporting several of their young up and coming talents, at both amateur and professional levels. The brand is also well represented in other countries, by well-known players such as Angelo Que of the Philippines, and Singapore’s most successful golfer in its history, Mardan Mamat.
With 11 years of experience behind us, and being established in the Asian market, we decided to extend our ambitions abroad, and in particular, to the United States. It was clear from the start that fashion preferences in America differed greatly from that of Asia, so in January 2019, a new sub-brand focused on contemporary American fashion was born – Private Estate.
We opened an office in Florida and enlisted the help of a design team there to create what is now a premium sportswear and lifestyle brand, built with a focus on luxury, but also convenience and versatility. The goal was to create a line of performance apparel suitable for golf, tennis, and other outdoor activities, but without compromising on the ability to look stylish and elegant in everyday life.
We believe we have achieved that with Private Estate, a brand that is distinguished by its quality of fabric, elegant designs, and comfort and functionality. With a range comprised of a mix of subtle and bold stripes, plain block colors, and sophisticated prints, Private Estate offers a variety of styles but is distinctly American, and we hope to see the brand continue to grow Stateside in the coming months and years.
To view the Private Estate website, click here: https://www.fenixxcell.com/product-category/private-estate/
Having started as a small company in Bangkok, Thailand, catering predominantly to a Thai market, we are now thrilled to be an international brand showcasing our products on a global stage. Fenix XCell continues to be a mainstay of the Thai and South East Asian market, whilst Private Estate is beginning to make inroads in the United States and Europe. Meanwhile, Fenix Custom – the original product offering that began with those local corporate events – has grown to serve thousands of companies not only in Asia but the world over, as well as conferences, sports teams, social groups, and other groups of people who used our bespoke custom capabilities to showcase their brand or team identity.
On top of our Bangkok headquarters we now have offices in Florida, Singapore, and the Middle East, as we continue our push to compete internationally with the biggest brands in sports apparel. With Private Estate being well received in its first year, and with 45 golf courses and retail stores signing up as stockists in 2020, we hope to increase that number in 2021 as well as expand the brand further internationally.
We hope you will join us on our ongoing journey and will strive to serve you the best we can.