As 2016 winds down, suppliers and distributors are on the hunt for next year’s must-have collections. Counselor asked Mark Seymour, chief sales officer at Next Level Apparel (asi/73867), about upcoming fashion trends and styles to prepare for in 2017.
Q: What are some exciting trends on the horizon?
Mark Seymour: The athleisure movement is really becoming popular. It’s clothing you can wear at the gym or in a yoga setting, but that you can also wear for the rest of the day. We’re developing a men’s muscle tank top for it. We’re also coming out with an urban take on the t-shirt market. It’s a men’s long body crew neck with a curved bottom. And we’re coming out with men’s and women’s joggers—a take on sweat pants but with cuffs on the bottom.
Q: What colors do you think will be popular?
MS: Orange is the big trend this year so we’re trying to get more variations of that color to add to our collection. Washed-out colors are really big in the college market so we’re working on inspired-dye shirts which will feature a whole series of colors like blonde, guava, and lead in washed out or faded versions. Neon came and went, but then three or four years ago, it came back and is still selling. Sport team colors like red, royal blue, navy blue, forest green, are still strong. The market is sophisticated enough now that there are groupings of colors used in different places.
Q: How do you determine what makes a trend?
MS: We develop really close relationships with our customers. We listen to them to find what’s missing from the color palette or what they’re looking for. We also go to retail shows like MAGIC Las Vegas or the Agenda Show in Long Beach. That’s how we stay on point.
Q: Who are the end-buyers right now?
MS: Millennials are definitely influencing the market place now more than ever. That age group is in two sections: college kids in fraternities or sororities or on teams, and those entering the workplace. Millennials are becoming decision makers at ad companies and start-ups.
Q: Has the rising popularity of music festivals been an influence?
MS: Absolutely. We call it the “Coachella Effect.” I go to festivals with my family because we enjoy the music—they have old school bands I like, and then newer bands that my kids like. When I look around and see the clothing, especially that Bohemian style women wear, that’s definitely effective in determining trends.