River's End Partners With Ashworth; Click here to listen to the podcast
Senior Editor Matt Histand speaks with Tim Klouda, president of the promotional division of River’s End Trading Co. (asi/82588), about its new, exclusive partnership with Ashworth (asi/37128) to offer the Ashworth, Callaway and Sunice lines, as well as what’s new for River’s End Trading in 2009.
Western wear is back in fashion, but it�s not only about looking like a cowboy (or girl). This time around it�s more of an �inspired-by� fashion trend that uses small Western touches, along with a few Western staples sprinkled in, much like last issue�s safari style trend. So there�s no need to tell your client to go out and buy that 10-gallon hat or start wearing spurs.
Today�s Western look starts with warm earth tones in brown, green and rust and fabrics that suggest the outdoor lifestyle, such as tweed, corduroy, plaids and checks. Accenting the look are Native American patterns, beadwork, fringe, and silver jewelry, belt buckles and bracelets.
Boots are an important, but not essential, part of a Western wear look. Boots are being worn in all types of styles from radically bright colors to more traditional Western patterns in muted browns, black and beiges � with leather and faux leather being the most popular.
From Capital Apparel (asi/43775), this shirt from the Ely & Walker line features classic Western styling, such as western yoke and pearlized snap buttons.
From Mega Cap Inc. (asi/70434), this rhinestone-encrusted straw hat is a great example of today�s popular Western-style apparel.
One place to start is to introduce your client to the Ely & Walker line of Western apparel, which features shirts with classic styling such as piped yokes and pearlized snaps. �Ely has been an authority in Western wear since 1878 and is offered to the corporate market exclusively through Capital Apparel,� says Matt Haley, online marketing director for Capital Apparel (asi/43775). �People who know about Western wear know about Ely. It has retail appeal.�
Because of the yoke styling distinctive to Western shirts, Haley advises embellishing the shirts with embroidery on the upper back, which provides �a more open area and it�s better framed by the shirt�s style than the traditional left-chest area.� This unusual placement may cost a little extra, so ask your decorator first for pricing.
Today�s modern twist on the Western style allows for lots of different interpretations of the look, from traditional Western cowboy (and girl), to English country, to Native American. This means mixing and matching styles and accessories for your clients, whether it�s with a one basic item, such as an Ely & Walker shirt, or a few, choice Western-inspired accessories.
From Boxercraft (asi/41325), these Patchwork Flannel Pants are hand sewn from 5 oz. flannel that creates a one-of-a-kind look.
Lounge wear has been a very popular niche in the women�s and teen girls� markets for many years, and it looks like the guys are finally getting in on the action. Several fashion designers at New York�s recent Fashion Week unveiled pajama-inspired styles. And some retailers have started stocking men�s pajamas as an alternative to the tracksuit. These styles include striped shirts and pants, drawstring pants, and colored piping on the garments.
Selling Tip: Expect busy male college students to try this style out, so pitch the look to fraternities and college bookstores.
Perfect in Plaid
The style wheel has turned � and it looks like plaid is back for the fall. The pattern is showing up in many different color combinations and all kinds of apparel from shirts, pants and jackets, to dresses and blazers, and a host of accessories. Mixing other items in other patterns with plaid is no longer a fashion faux pas; however, for promotional looks, it�s still best to stay style safe by matching plaid with a solid color that accents its color scheme.
Selling Tip: Plaid worries some end-buyers, but it shouldn�t. When decorating on a plaid garment, you can go with a subtle tone-on-tone look or pick a contrasting color to make the imprint pop.
From Alternative Apparel (asi/34850), this plaid Lampshade Bucket Hat is a wool blend hat with a wide brim that�s reversible.
Attention Readers: Are We On Trend or Way Off? Distributors are a busy group, so we try to keep you updated on what�s hot in apparel. We�d like your feedback on how we�re picking trends and providing information you can use. Please send an e-mail to Matt Histand, senior editor, at email@example.com, to let us know what you like and what else you�d like to see in this newsletter. Thanks for reading.
Sell To: The shirt is treated with the DuPont Teflon fabric protector that repels most liquids and semi-liquids for 25 washes. Great for restaurant wait staff, traveling salespeople and women on the go.
Selling Idea: Pitch this shirt to women who like a classic, corporate style � they�ll love its sleek, fitted silhouette. This lightweight shirt has a soft hand and comes in a short-sleeve version.
[ NEWS BRIEFS ]
Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) won five Promo Marketing Excellence Awards, including the award for top T-shirt supplier for the second year in a row.
Broder Bros. (asi/42099) launched its 2009 Custom Catalog program, which features catalogs from Broder, Alpha and NES, to help distributors sell in a more targeted way.
Boxercraft (asi/41325) partnered with the Greater Midwest Cheer and Dance Expo to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer.
SanMar (asi/84863) released 22 new customizable Web videos that can be streamed or e-mailed to clients. A personal message or logo can be added to each video, which run between 30 and 60 seconds, before sending.
Tehama (asi/84569) introduced an interactive Web site (www.tehamainc.com) and two new groupings of its Hang�em Dry category.
[ ASK AN EXPERT ]
Question: I'm looking for a polo in navy with gold piping, in sizes up to a 3XL.
Answer: Look at product 2222 from McCreary�s Tee�s (asi/69885). This supplier has a nice sports performance polo in navy with an option for trim in many colors, including gold. Sizes run up to 3XL. Also try product 120 from Game Sportswear Ltd. (asi/55752). Game Sportswear has a 100% polyester polo shirt with a three-button placket and side vents. Sizes run up to 5XL.
Selling Tip: If you�re having trouble finding a particular color combination for a client, consider the decoration. Screen printing and embroidery are both great ways to incorporate a specific color into a very basic, single-color item.
Question: A client asked me to find a supplier for the very small shirts that are used on plush characters and dolls.
Answer: Artistic Toy Mfg. Inc. (asi/37122) has a great Web site where you can get all sizes and colors of accessories for dolls and stuffed animals including shirts, bandannas, tanks and more.
Selling Tip: Having a custom garment made to your client�s specs isn�t as costly or as time consuming as it once was.
[ WEARABLES TERMS ]
Kints - Terms you should know:
Double Knit: A circular knit fabric knitted via double stitch on a double-needle frame to provide a double thickness. Most double-knits are made of polyester.
Rib Knit: A basic stitch used in weft knitting in which the knitting machines require two sets of needles operating at right angles to each other. Rib knits have a very high degree of elasticity in the crosswise direction.
Single Knit: A fabric knitted on a single-needle machine. This fabric has less body, substance and stability when compared with double knit.
Tricot: A type of warp-knitted fabric that has a thin texture made from very fine yarn.