If the old adage, “Everything is bigger in Texas” holds true with golf fashion, then Identity Belts & Buckles (IBB) is running the state capitol. The Dallas-Fort Worth area company – still in its infancy – is quickly becoming a hit with area tour, college and junior players all looking to stamp their own personal flair on the golf course with the company’s oversized – and boldly designed – belts and buckles.
Tour players John Rollins, Paul Stankowski, Nathan Green and Notah Begay III are already among the fast-growing contingent of players wearing IBB.
Simply explained, the company offers an array of belt colors and, where IBB really stands out, options, upon options of buckles, and variations within those buckles.
It’s a far cry from the days when your local department store or golf store were the only sources to find a belt that fit the traditional conservatism of golf’s fashion rules.
“You can match your shoes and outfits,” Stankowski explained of the belts to Avid Golfer magazine in a story last December. “It’s pretty cool for those who are fashion conscious.”
Fitting into the “fashionably aware” category by that admission himself, Stankowski has a personal stamping of “Stanko” on his buckles, which exemplifies the company’s mission to a T.
“Golfers love things that are custom,” says company co-founder, Tyson Lamb. “So, what we want to do is give players as many options as possible to stand out for themselves by wearing something that is truly unique to them.”
At just 22 years old, Lamb and Austin Alaniz – also 22 – are definitely on the younger side for two business owners looking to find success in a tough industry, during a tougher economy. But as Lamb points out, that’s an advantage, considering the product they’re pushing.
“We promote outside thinking,” Lamb says. “Even though we’re both young, we understand what guys want, and that’s everything and anything custom to show their individuality.”
The inspiration for IBB came from the duo’s love for Titleist Scotty Cameron putters.
“Since I remember, I’ve played with a Scotty Cameron and everyone knows the quality of his work,” Lamb, a current member of the men’s golf team at Texas Wesleyan University, explains. “And a big thing with his putters is all of the custom options you can have tailored to you. The only problem there is that if you’re not a tour player, it costs an arm and a leg to get something created for you that’s personalized.
“So, (Alaniz) and I wanted to offer a high quality product with unlimited options that allows an individual to create a belt buckle that truly reflects who they are. Initials, paint-fill, stamping, etc. – we do it all.”
They also get as much feedback as possible from their tour players, and even the younger players around town, to ensure they’re staying with the latest fashion beat.
“That’s the only way we’ll grow,” reasons Lamb.
Nationwide Tour player, Bobby Gates – on his way to graduating to a PGA Tour card next year by finishing within The 25 on the 2010 money list – is among one of the main contributors to the company’s feedback panel.
“I’ve got a ton of (belts and buckles),” Gates told Avid Golfer. “We’ve really put our heads together to make some cool stuff.”
Along with offering fully custom-designed belts, IBB currently offers five main designs from its iB-1 collection – the Stella, Halo, Retro, Icon and Argyle.
The iB-1 is the first fully interchangeable buckle system of its kind, featuring three separate pieces that assemble with different color options to create one unique buckle design.
“That’s definitely the one that has put us on the map,” Lamb admits.
But, following standard business principles of always looking onward and upward, IBB has rolled out a new collection of dressier, more business-oriented belts called the Class Six.
Still, it’s the customization factor that really gets Lamb and Alaniz going.
“We can mill belts like Scotty Cameron mills putters,” Lamb explains. “And with our CAD (computer aided design) system, you can see what the buckle will look like before we manufacture it, so that ensures you’ll get the exact design you’re looking for.
“If you can think it up, we can put it on the belt, and that’s pretty cool.”