Nearly one third of distributor revenue in the promotional products industry is generated through sales of wearables, with shirts constituting approximately 20% of total sales. Stats like that show the demand for apparel spans all markets. Here are some hot products clients will be looking for.

Young and Hip

DJs, pop-punkers, platinum-selling rock bands – such musical acts compose the core clientele Nikki Bowles serves. Not surprisingly, the purchasing manager at AKT Enterprises must constantly deliver hip, cutting-edge apparel for performers to brand and sell to Millennial audiences. It’s pivotal to come up with just the right item that will appeal to the young, fashion-forward crowds while conveying the artists’ image – something Bowles did deftly on a recent campaign for a DJ.

The artist was looking for a distinctive hooded sweatshirt. Bowles suggested TSC Apparel’s (asi/90518) multi-spiral tie dye hoodie (product #854MS), a comfortable blend of cotton and polyester that carries attention-grabbing blasts of color. The DJ dug the product, and invested in it to sell at major music festivals that included Coachella. Some of the hoodies featured the DJ’s logo in screen-print, while others had silk-screened block letters spelling his name. “It was a simple design, but that worked because the tie dye was the main focus,” says Bowles.

Through a series of performances, the DJ consistently sold out of the hoodies and kept ordering more. In all, he bought several thousand from Bowles and retailed them for between $35 and $40 “They had a real custom look and he loved it because this was not an item that everyone else had,” says Bowles. “The individuality of it was a big thing.”

Going forward, expect to see tie dye, especially on tank tops and short sleeve shirts, trending hotter and hotter, says Bowles. “It’s not just the music industry. Schools and other markets love it too.”