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WEARABLES STYLE

WEARABLES STYLE

Vol 236 / October 6, 2014
VIDEO

Behind the Scenes
If you've already checked out our stunning Fall Fashion Preview, then be sure to watch our behind-the-scenes video to show how we pulled it off.

Video
Trends
Trend Alert: Corduroy
How To Sell: Vests
Sales Challenge: Handling Customer Feedback
What's Hot on Wearablesmag.com
News Briefs
Our Favorite Wearables
Wearables Terms
Ask An Expert
Show List

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Trend Alert: Corduroy

The men's and women's technical corduroy jacket (FW3161) from Fersten Worldwide (asi/53974) is made of 90% polyester, 10% nylon technical corduroy and bonded 3 layer performance softshell with 100% polyester fleece lining.
With its unique texture and vintage-inspired appearance, corduroy is a great staple this season. Better yet, it is relatively inexpensive and is versatile enough to be coordinated with different styles of shirts, sweaters and shoes. While typically used for pants, skirts, jackets and caps, the fabric also makes a sharp suiting fabric for men, according to GQ. Top fashion names like Faconnable and Band of Outsiders are featuring the fabric.

One of corduroy's best assets is that it's comfortable and stylish without being showy. "We are headed into an era of people searching for the 'everyday man' look – non-branded or logoed apparel, headwear and outerwear that offers function with anonymity," says Nancy Robitaille, principal designer/import manager at Fersten Worldwide (asi/53974). "It is a throwback to a time when life was less stressful and the look more casual."

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Corduroy also works wonderfully on trimmings and as an accent. "We have a very successful jacket line that combines a microfleece chest with soft, supple corduroy on the shoulders and arms and also bonded to the inside layer," says Steve Pinzon, spokesman for AKWA (asi/33280). "The interior layer of corduroy is very soft against the skin, traps heat very effectively and provides a wonderful, cozy feel."

There are multiple varieties of corduroy, particularly with different-sized wales, or ridges in common parlance. Depending on the wale count, the wales can look thicker or thinner. Corduroy varies from 100% cotton to blends, like the polyester-nylon mixes used in Fersten Worldwide's 2015 collection, according to Robitaille. She adds that the technical fabric blends have moisture-wicking and breathable capabilities.

AKWA's line of corduroy includes a full-zip crewneck, a quarter-zip crewneck and full-zip hoodies. In addition, there will be a full-zip vest for 2015. Fersten Worldwide has corduroy in outerwear (FW3161 AND Women's FW3165). "They are mid-weight with an inner soft-shell fabric vest detail, critically seam sealed, moisture wicking and breathable, with an anti-RFID security pocket on the inside to keep valuable information safe," Robitaille says.

When it comes to decorating corduroy, there are so many options. "Corduroy is a versatile fabric, easy to decorate – it can be embroidered, debossed, embossed and even lasered," says Robitaille.

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WHAT'S HOT ON WEARABLESMAG.COM

The Revolution Will Be Worn
Wearable technology is poised to change our lives.

Election Season
Can political merchandise swing an election? We tasked our competitors to create their best political shirts for our Wearables Top Decorator contest.

Female Football Fanatics
Think fans of America's most popular sport are all male? Think again. There are plenty of options to appeal to female fans.

Be sure to visit www.wearablesmag.com to read these stories and more.
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How To Sell: Vests

The days are shortening and the weather is finally cooling off, and that means layering options are in order. One style that has proved consistently popular is the lightweight vest. Many are made of soft fleece or quilted polyester, fitted for warmth without the bulk, and chock-full of performance features. They're ideal for evening football games and campfires, and early mornings on the golf course or out on the lake.

Lightweight soft-shell and fleece vests are among the most popular styles this season, says Elson Yeung, director of private label design and merchandising at Ash City/alphabroder (asi/34063). "Fleece vests in particular are very versatile and an easy addition to any outfit," he explains. "Nothing feels cozier than fleece when the weather gets a little chillier, or even when the air conditioning is set too high in the office. A vest layer adds warmth and comfort to any look. It offers a layer of protection while maintaining a level of comfort with its breathability."

Trimark Powered by Leed's (asi/66888) offers the Whistler vest (TM19898) with a lightweight 80% down and 20% feather fill. The 100% polyester shell is water repellent, and the vest comes in five colors.
Quilted vests are also in high demand for the fall, says Jackie Whitfield, vice president of merchandising at Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122). One of this supplier's best-selling items is the Whistler Light Down Vest (TM19898) with an 80% down and 20% feather fill, and a water-repellent and down-proof shell. "We're finding that the most popular quilted vests are lightweight, very soft and can be packed easily for versatility during travel," Whitfield says. "Designers prefer a high down content and lightweight fabrics with a high stitch count for the shell, ones that are down-proof and provide a superior wind- and water-resistant finish." High-count fabric is also an optimal canvas for embroidery and heat transfers, she adds.

Vests have consistently been a popular choice for corporate applications and incentive programs, most notably because cost is often relatively low. "They're typically sold at reasonable price points," adds Yeung. "From working in an office to traveling, they're strongly versatile and come in an array of colors to match company branding."

While their functionality and wide appeal make them a good option for almost any industry, "they've been in particularly high demand for product launches with outdoor themes, personnel managing outdoor venues and off-site company events for which wearers prefer a versatile garment," says Whitfield. As an added bonus, their affordability "leaves more budget for decorating options," says Yeung. "Fleece is best served by embroidery, because it can handle fine text and designs, while the compression of the lofty fibers gives the decoration a 3-D feel. Other options include laser etching and mixed media, a leading-edge trend that results in clean styling."

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Enter The Wearables Apparel Design Awards
Does your apparel and decoration stack up with the best in the industry? Find out by entering our annual Wearables Apparel Design Awards. Suppliers, distributors and decorators are encouraged to nominate their best work in a number of different categories. The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 17. To receive contest rules, email Editor C.J. Mittica at cmittica@asicentral.com.
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Sales Challenge: Handling Customer Feedback

At Robyn Promotions (asi/309656), key account executives frequently connect with clients to gather important feedback following a sale. Whether through phone calls, emails or face-to-face meetings, this practice helps reps learn how to improve service for that client – and other customers too. It also aids reps in their mission to leave the most positive impression possible.

The latter point proved particularly true on a recent campaign in which Robyn provided apparel for approximately 1,600 employees of a financial industry company with 24 locations. Employees ordered apparel through an online store, and the transaction success rate was nearly 100%.

Nonetheless, in a few instances, there were issues with items on backorder with the manufacturer. As these things usually go, the client's main buyer heard much more about the issues than the flawless delivery of nearly all the attractively branded apparel.

In a post-sale meeting, however, a Robyn rep emphasized solid statistics that showed the campaign's overwhelming success and how the backorder blips were handled – this in addition to asking how the distributorship can improve to better serve the client in the future. "By following up and putting everything in context," says Robyn CEO Bobby Lehew, "we were able to give the client a good understanding of how well we actually did. We also showed we cared about the customer's happiness, and that we want to get better for them. That helps us learn and improve, and it builds the relationship."

Author and sales trainer Barry Maher recommends consistently recording and reviewing feedback, analyzing personal criticism constructively and passing the feedback along internally to ensure potential problem areas are fixed. "Nothing's worse than working with a rep who tells me they're getting repeated requests, yet they've never mentioned that to anyone in power," Maher says.


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Baja Hoodie
The new Striped Baja Fleece Zip Hoodie (PRM22BZ) is a stylish twist on the typical garment. The French terry sweatshirt is made with a unique knitting process and special combination of yarns to create a speckled surface on the outside and fine stripes on the inside. Made from an 80/20 cotton-polyester blend, it also features a #5 antique metal zipper, twill-taped neck and front pouch pocket. Available from Independent Trading Co.; independenttradingco.com.

Selling Tip:
This garment gives off a south-of-the-border vibe, inspired by the bulky, textured, striped pullovers often seen in Mexico. It's a great pick for fashionable, but cozy, layering. Screen printers should test before decorating – the garment is not discharge-friendly.


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Brushed Cotton: Cotton fabric brushed to remove excess lint and fibers from the fabric, leaving an ultra-soft, smooth finish.

Buckram: Coarse woven fabric, stiffened with glue, used to stabilize fabric for stitching. Commonly found in caps to hold the front panel erect.

Washout Booth: Booth used for washing out stencils and reclaiming screens.

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Q: My client needs a microfleece full-zip jacket in kids' sizes. Can you help?

A: Zip on over to Country Line Inc. (asi/46764); www.countryline.ca; for the youth microfleece jacket (Y6900) and the wicking youth microfleece jacket (Y8100). Both are available in a variety of colors and in youth sizes XS–XL.

Your next stop is Codet Newport Corporation (asi/45605); www.bigbill.com. Ask for the Northland microfleece youth jacket (CNYF01), a 100% polyester microfleece garment sure to keep the young ones warm. It even features two hand-warmer zippered pockets and an adjustable elastic cord waistband.

Finally, warm up to the youth Port Authority soft shell jacket (Y317) from SanMar (asi/84863); www.sanmar.com. Wind- and rain-resistant, this apparel staple consists of a polyester woven shell bonded to a 100% poly microfleece lining.

Selling Tip: Jackets are wonderful apparel staples year-round. Don't overlook children as end-users, as they can be valuable walking billboards for your customers' brands.

Q: I'm hoping you can assist me. My client, an environmental organization, needs jute wine bottle bags to give out for the holidays.

A: Get your eco on with the jute wine bag (B8016) from Ad Products Bazaar Inc. (asi/31522); www.bazaarline.com. It's made of easy-to-carry, laminated jute with cane handles and holds one bottle.

Or, check out the jute wine bottle carrier (1151) from Busrel Inc. (asi/42920); www.busrel.com. This lightweight bag has a laminated interior and rope handles.

You might also try the colorful drawstring jute wine bag (B163) or the natural jute wine bag with handles, both supplied by US Box Corp (asi/92775); www.asi92775.com.

Selling Tip: Wine totes, regardless of material, make excellent gifts. They are even more effective when branded with your client's logo and filled with a bottle of holiday cheer.
American Apparel (asi/35297) has named Scott Brubaker as interim CEO, replacing John Luttrell. The company also appointed Hassan Natha as executive vice president and chief financial officer, and promoted long-time employees Patricia Honda and Nicolle Gabbay to the positions of president of wholesale and president of retail, respectively.

Bugatti-sedona (asi/42394) has acquired Bond Street Ltd., the parent company of supplier brands Bond Street and Stebco (asi/40895).

Cap America (asi/43792) announced that the territory covered by K.C. Fields and Associates (asi/822150) has been expanded to include Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio.

Charles River Apparel (asi/44620) has added three outside sales representatives. Sharon Wohlleber will focus her sales efforts in Southern Texas; Scott Schaefer is the new rep for Western New York and Western Pennsylvania; and Scott Blankenship will rep for Northern Texas and Oklahoma.

Expert Brand (asi/53404) welcomes Jason Grindall as the vice president of national corporate sales.  

Garmatex Technologies has partnered with BASE360 Inc. to introduce a new generation of protective hockey wear to the Canadian market. The apparel lines BASE360 and BODYARMOUR feature shirts, pants and socks with protection against laceration from skates, as well as Garmatex's compression, moisture-wicking and antimicrobial technologies.

Graphics One now offers the Metalnox PTS 12000 dual-shuttle heat press. It features industrial semi-automatic pneumatic dual platens, each with 39 inches by 58 inches of transfer space. The PTS 12000 meets virtually all requirements of industrial pressing without the high product cost.

Graphic Solutions Group (GSG) hosted the 15th Annual Hank Granberry Charity Classic golf tournament in Texas. It raised $30,000 for PanCan (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network). To date, this event has collected more than $130,000. The company will also host an open house with free lunch on Nov. 7 at the company headquarters in Dallas. Contact Clay Houser at Clay.Houser@gogsg.com to make a reservation.

Inksoft has added Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) to the growing list of wholesalers in its integrated catalog lineup. The company now also offers a guide for online fundraising programs. You'll learn the elements of a successful presentation and how to use InkSoft's professionally designed, customizable fliers to help convey your message and that of your customers. Download How To Create A Successful Online Fundraising Program for free.

Madeira USA has announced the release of the Multifunctional Frame System (MFS), along with a webinar that shows how to produce small to medium runs of badges cost-effectively, reduce high stitch count embroidery on performance wear, create badges in advance then customize as needed and achieve clean, crisp borders, with no need of merrowing or laser trimming. Reserve your webinar seat now.

Penn Emblem Co. (asi/77120) has hired Eric Garced as graphic designer. Also, the company's Healthcare Division will be at the AHCA/NCAL 65th Annual Convention and Expo in Washington, D.C. Oct. 5 to 8 at booth #413. You can learn more about garment identification in senior care facilities. For more information about the company's complete labeling solution, contact Stephen Bachow at (215) 632-7800 ext. 242 or email sbachow@pennemblem.com.

Proforma (asi/300094) announced that Petty Marketing, a multimillion-dollar distributor firm based in Cleveland, TN, has joined. Ralph Petty, president of Petty Marketing, and his 10-person team will now operate as Petty Marketing powered by Proforma. 

Roland DGA (asi/18201) announced the winners of its Creative Awards Contest, a competition designed to showcase the diverse array of projects produced by Roland users. The three winners included StickerCity in Sherman Oaks, CA; Monster Image in Huntington Beach, CA; and SignCo from Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information on Roland's Creative Awards Contest, or to see images of the award-winning entries, click here.

SanMar (asi/84863) welcomes Yen Gao as director of sourcing.

Sawgrass and Unisub have partnered to conduct a survey aimed at determining the design needs of sublimators across industries. The five-minute survey, which will run through Oct. 31, focuses on identifying specific challenges sublimators encounter most often and what kinds of resources they feel would be most helpful for their businesses. Those who participate will be offered the chance to enter a drawing for a free Kindle Fire HD. The survey can be accessed here.

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA)
welcomes Ray Weiss to its team as the new digital imaging specialist.

Stormtech Performance Apparel (asi/89869) has released its 2014 Stormtech magazine, which follows the global travels of Stormtech ambassadors. The most recent edition includes an interview with Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe, on the set of The Water Diviner, his directorial debut. View the publication at www.stormtech.ca.

Transfer Express (asi/91804) offered a free webinar in September showing embroiderers how to boost sales by becoming a full personalization business with the addition of heat printing. View this webinar and scroll down to see other recent webinars.

TSC Apparel (asi/90518) now offers garments by Comfort Colors by Chouinard, including garment-dyed T-shirts, tank tops and fleece in more than 90 colors. Comfort Colors also custom-dyes fabric to match more than 15,000 PMS colors. For more information, visit www.tscapparel.com.

The Wild Side has a new vintage patch collection of dog breeds. More than 50 breeds are represented from Australian shepherds and bloodhounds to shih tzus and vizslas. View the new collection here.

Victorinox Swiss Army (asi/93755) named Andrew Spellman as vice president of corporate channels. Spellman will be responsible for updating his newly expanded team's approach to selling and marketing all Victorinox, Victorinox Swiss Army, Wenger and Swiss Gear products.
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Oct. 13-15, Galveston Island, TX
Galveston Gift & Resort Merchandise Show
(678) 285-3976; www.galvestongiftshow.com

Oct. 19-22, Marlboro, MA
New England Apparel Club Show
(781) 326-9223; www.neacshow.com

October 22-24, Las Vegas, NV
SGIA Expo
(888) 385-3589; www.sgia.org/expo
Oct. 24-25, Manhattan, NY
Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show & Sale
(518) 852-2415;http://manhattanvintage.com

Oct. 28-29, Portland, ME

New England Apparel Club Show
(781) 326-9223; www.neacshow.com
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