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Vol 235 / September 22, 2014

Dirty Work
Our Dirty Jobs series spotlights the professions which need rugged branded apparel. Check out our videos, where we visited these workers on the job. We visited a uniform laundering facility, wildlife removal specialist and a trash collector.

Trend Alert: New York Fashion Week
Q&A: Ash City/alphabroder
Power Summit: The Need For Speed
What's Hot on
News Briefs
Wearables Terms
Our Favorite Wearables
Ask An Expert
Show List

Trend Alert: New York Fashion Week

Crisp whites of varying textures were a staple of the Spring/Summer shows at New York Fashion Week, including the Carmen Marc Valvo show.
The Spring/Summer shows at New York Fashion Week, which ran from Sept. 4 to 11, featured lots of colors, embellishments and breathtaking designs and silhouettes. There were so many options to mix and match. The styles were bold, beautiful and chic. It was also a blast from the past, showcasing '70s styles like bell bottoms and fringe. Here's your guide to the top trends of NYFW:

White: Crisp white covered the runways. "At this point, it isn't about the rules of when you can wear all-white; it's about how you wear it," reports Glamour. This color is simple, fresh and classy; plus, it coordinates with anything. To pull it off, suggest mixing textures or adding a pop of color. "White on white was super strong this summer and continues on for the fall. But think of more winter-type fabrics such as cashmere, suede, neoprene and leather," says Ronit Abraham, New York-based fashion stylist and fashion correspondent. "The monochromatic look is huge and frankly quite flattering, so pairing a white top with white pants and throwing on a colored pair of heels will really step up your outfit."

Fringe: To add a bit of interest and detail, fringe is a must. "Fringe is one of my favorite trends coming out of this year's fashion shows," says Abraham. "It's so boho, and I love the idea of mixing something bohemian like fringe onto a more expensive high-grade leather to make a leather fringe bag or dress." The accent isn't just relegated to purses, with fringe gracing sweaters, sweatshirts skirts and shoes.

Gingham: "Gingham is a great print that pairs well with other prints," says Abraham. "Mixing prints is huge right now, so don't think that a printed top has to go with a solid bottom. Take a feathered miniskirt and add a button-down gingham top for that thrown-together-but-polished look." The pattern has a cool visual effect that makes an outfit pop. 

Suede: The soft fabric has made quite a comeback from designers such as Derek Lam, Jason Wu and Ralph Lauren. "Suede is a great textile we are seeing a lot of on the runways. It is beautiful in any color because it's a fabric that really allows the color to seep in, but especially nice in neutrals, which are huge right now," says Abraham, citing the thickness of the fabric as a way to accommodate all body types.

Overalls: The old-school look has a modern twist. "Designers showed several different versions of these double-strapped childhood classics on their runways," reports Lucky. "DKNY's were done in traditional denim, Rag & Bone's in minimalist black-and-white and Alexander Wang's in heavily logoed leather." It's a great option for a casual and youthful look.

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Be sure to visit to read these stories and more.
Q&A: Ash City/alphabroder

Ash City (asi/37127), which is now part of alphabroder (asi/34063), recently unveiled its Fall 2014 collection with a much-anticipated fashion show held at the House of Moments building in Toronto. Wearables magazine recently spoke with Elson Yeung, director of private label design and merchandising, about the show and Ash City's new collection.

Q: What are some highlights from the Fall 2014 Collection launch?
Elson Yeung: We're excited to introduce even more innovative technology and design details in our outerwear. We feature city-inspired looks with our IMMERGE insulated hybrid jacket (88696/78696) and the SKYSCAPE three-layer two-tone softshell jacket (88801/78801). We also bring the unexpected by offering wovens in performance fabrics. An example is the CENTRAL AVE mélange performance shirt (88802/78802).

The SKYSCAPE three-layer two-tone softshell jacket (88801/78801) from Ash City (asi/37127), now part of alphabroder (asi/34063), is made of a suiting-inspired fabric and includes tailoring-inspired details. It was one of a host of new styles shown at the Fall 2014 Collection Fashion Show held last month in Toronto.
Q: What were the design objectives for the launch of these particular styles?
EY: We strive to offer the latest and greatest in design, quality and comfort to our customers. Variety is very important when designing a style or a whole collection, but at the same time it's important to offer styles that are relatable to the target audience and potential customers. There's a fine line, especially in the apparel world, between being on-trend and too out there.

In our wide assortment of outerwear styles, our customers can expect to find something that suits their requirements. In our North End Sport Red collection, for example, customers can expect innovative technology to achieve optimum comfort and performance while enjoying the latest on-trend designs and details. Meanwhile, our North End Sport Blue collection is the go-to label for those looking for on-trend designs beyond the active designs. This line blends downtown style with uncompromising performance and functionality, not to mention sophisticated designs.

Finally, with our wovens, our main objective was to offer the latest fabric technology to achieve moisture-wicking performance in a category that typically uses traditional woven fabrics to improve upon all-day comfort.

Q: What kinds of in-demand features do these designs include?
EY: Our IMMERGE insulated hybrid jacket presents different fabrics in strategic locations, so we could take advantage of fabric performance while creating a unique design. It includes moisture-wicking printed fleece at the side panels and under the arms to help prevent overheating. It also utilizes insulation and heat-reflect lining in the torso for optimal warmth without additional bulk. The comfortable shaped collar lined with fleece keeps the elements out, stretch storm cuffs with thumb holes keep drafts out while keeping sleeves in place during activities, and a detachable microfiber cloth in the lower pocket can be used to dry off ski goggles on the slopes.

The SKYSCAPE jacket features a suiting-inspired soft shell fabric that combines the same visual interest as the latest in fashion trends with the performance benefits of soft shell fabric. Its subtle style lines create a flattering silhouette and minimalist approach, and the tailoring-inspired details such as the ladies' back vent, belt and convertible collar blend functionality, style and comfort. The distinctive metal hardware adds depth to the minimalist design.

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
Power Summit: The Need For Speed

As business gets faster every day, the ad specialty industry is not immune. In a panel discussion at this year's Power Summit led by ASI President and CEO Tim Andrews and kicked off by a special demonstration of drone technology, four industry experts discussed what suppliers and distributors need to do to meet the growing demand for faster service, order processing and more.

Jim Epstein of Polyconcept North America said he sees more orders being turned around 24 to 48 hours after being received, which is reflective of more businesses adopting a program model with clients. Rather than the traditional model of selling the product to a client and then buying it, distributors are buying the product (which suppliers are holding in inventory) and then selling it to clients. This change, according to Vantage Apparel's (asi/93390) Ira Neaman, makes the process more efficient for all parties involved. In the program model, the order can be turned quicker.

And while that is true for apparel and other hard goods, when it comes to custom products, speed comes at a price. In fact, Mike Emoff of distributor firm Shumsky (asi/326300) said the cost can be four times greater when it comes to a custom order. But speed can be a matter of cleaning up the order process, according to the session's panelists. Alan Vaught of Evans Manufacturing (asi/52840) said if a clean order comes through, one that does not require proofs, it can be in production within 15 minutes of receiving the order. And, according to Neaman, even if an order hasn't been finalized, Vantage can allocate the products and hold them until everything is ready to go.

So, while the need for quicker order procurement dominated discussion, the audience thought the industry is doing well with its speed today. When asked if the industry's speed was fast enough, a vote via text message revealed that 66% of the audience said "yes" while 34% said "no."

Camo T-Shirt
This high-tech performance T-shirt (HTSS-1) features a distinctive camouflage pattern. Made of 100% polyester, the shirt has a soft and comfortable feel and is engineered to keep the wearer dry. Available from Sunflower Camo (asi/90165);

Selling Tip: In many regions, fall is synonymous with hunting season, and hunters are always looking for updated camo patterns to keep them hidden in very specific terrains. In this case, this shirt is perfect for the sunflower fields that dove hunters frequent.

Mesh Count: The number of threads in one square inch of screen fabric, measured in both directions. The lower the number, the coarser the mesh and the larger the screen opening.

Pantone: A set of standard colors for printing, each of which is specified by a single number.

Platen Adhesive: Adhesive in either spray or liquid form that is used to hold down garment on a shirt board when printing.

Q: Do you happen to know of any suppliers for a beanie hat with earbuds built in? Much appreciated.

A: Try Music Hat (MA-024) from Qpromo (asi/47962); Its built-in headphones are compatible with any mobile device and are easily removable for when you wash the hat.

Three such beanies are available from Tooks International (asi/91452); Search for the Headphone Beanie (FLAPJAC), which comes in three colors; the Audio Beanie (CLASSIC), available in six colors; and the other Headphone Beanie (BRIGADE), similar to the solid-color Headphone Beanie but in camo designs.

Finally, get your sound on with Wayne Lee Promotion Inc. (asi/95739); The Beanie Hat with Built-In Headphones (WL317) provides the musical headwear your client desires.

Selling Tip: Especially for Gen-Yers and Millennials, technology is a must-have. High-tech products or items that make their lives easier are always a hit with this demographic.

Q: I need to find a quilted style purse for a fashionable group of young women. Any suggestions?

A: Bring on the beauty with Blossom Fashion Tower (asi/40681); Several quilted style purses are available, such as the Quilted Cotton Hobo Bag (Q062HH), the brand-new Quilted Hipster Bag (Q061PP), the Quilted Tote in Circle Pattern (Q064LT), and more.

If your customer is into brand names, try the Vera Bradley "Mandy" bag (11450-147 or 11450-149) from Top Brands Inc. (asi/91455);; featuring six interior compartments and a front slip pocket, and available in several enticing patterns.

Or, bag the sale with McKlein Co. LLC (asi/70053); This supplier's Quilted Faux Leather Crossbody Bag comes in seven solid colors and one wild leopard pattern.

Selling Tip: From jackets and coats to bags and wallets, the quilted look is in! Suggest it to customers buying for stylish or trendy end-users.
Ash City/alphaborder (asi/34063) has announced the exclusive distribution of Rabbit Skins, Code V and Tie Dye in the Canadian market. For more information, visit

Bic Graphic (asi/40480) has increased the number of products available with britePix full-color imprint to more than 440 items. The most recent additions are two umbrella styles.

Garmatex Technologies has partnered with New Era Cap. It marks the company's first step into headwear for its nano-level fabric technologies.

Geiger will receive a 2014 Technology Leadership Award at the Ventana Research-hosted awards ceremony on Oct. 22. Geiger will be recognized for outstanding technology achievement with the recent implementation of PIM technology.

Gemline (asi/56070) welcomes Ted Simpson as national sales manager for Canada.

Great Dane Graphics offers new food and beverage designs of stock art, including pies and cookies, wine and cheese, hamburgers and more. For more information, visit  or email

GSG now offers the Mighty Hoop 5.5-inch magnetic hoop, available for Tajima, Barudan, SWF, Brother, Melco, Toyota, Happy, ZSK and Inbro. For more information, visit or email

Heritage Sportswear and Virginia T's (asi/60582) appointed Jim Dunne as vice president of strategic accounts and added Kevin Stoll and Mike Putnam to their team of sales and account executives.

Hirsch International (asi/14982) has opened a new distribution center in Jonesville, NC, that features increased square footage, an enhanced customer service department and a showroom that displays Hirsch's most popular product lines. For more information, visit

Inkcups Now offers XFlexx UV LED flexible ink available exclusively for the X2 flatbed UV inkjet printer and the XJET Industrial Inkjet Printer for higher-volume users. For more information, visit

InkSoft has raised $1,600 to help fight ALS by donating $100 for each InkSoft employee who participated in its version of the Ice Bucket Challenge. View the video here.

Madeira USA has released new thread storage boxes for its complete line of polyneon embroidery thread, which feature seven drawers containing 413 solid colors, including the fluorescents. It's also possible to purchase a single drawer or empty boxes and fill them over time. For more information, email Alice Wolf at

Penn Emblem (asi/77120) has announced the launch of its redesigned website. Visit

Proforma (asi/300094) announces that Josh Frey, founder of the The Swag Coach program and owner of On Sale Promos LLC, an alliance partner of Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308), was named Innovator of the Year at Proforma's annual convention. Frey recently secured a $3 million, three-year contract with a Fortune 500 client by implementing an e-commerce solution into the company's sales mix and developing a marketing campaign to launch the program, resulting in a 300% sales increase for the client in the first six months.

Roland DGA (asi/18201) has announced the release of the monoFab series, including the company's first additive 3-D printer, the ARM-10, and a new compact 3-D subtractive milling machine, the SRM-20. For more information, visit They are also offering low promotional Geneva Capital lease rates for the company's most popular models of wide-format printers and printer/cutters. For more information, click here.

(asi/84863) has launched its 2014 holiday gift-giving campaign, including a website dedicated to fourth-quarter gifting at, a streamlined catalog, holiday-themed flyers and templates, a promotional video and an e-catalog.

Southern Plus (asi/88367) has redesigned its website at

Sportco (asi/88792) and Skyline Screenprinting & Embroidery, Inc. have announced plans to merge. The combined entity, whose name will be announced upon completion of the merger, will provide cutting-edge apparel decoration to the promotional-product distributor and team dealer marketplace. Sportco will no longer offer the Sportco Authentic fleece and Gabrielle Rohde Royce women's corporate casual lines after the merger closes. Sportco has placed both lines on clearance while it sells through its current stock.

Sportsman Cap & Bag (asi/88877) has released its 2015 catalog that features 10 bag brands and 18 cap brands. Visit for more information.

Stahls' ID Direct
(asi/88984) has added 28 new styles to its line of pre-cut numbers. For more information, visit

Sunscope (asi/90075) announced it has purchased the Russell Brands LLC garment decoration plants and support facilities in Alexander City, AL. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the agreement calls for Sunscope to take over the existing apparel decorating business of Russell that is currently operated out of these facilities.
Oct. 19-22, Marlboro, MA
New England Apparel Club Show
(781) 326-9223;
October 22-24, Las Vegas, NV
(888) 385-3589;
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