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Sponsored By: Targeted Media Services Inc - Hanes

Vol 224 / April 21, 2014

A Winning Pitch
Opening day for the baseball season has arrived, which makes it the perfect time to examine the popularity of baseball clothing. Wearables Editor C.J. Mittica looks at the most popular styles in this Trend Alert video. Click here to watch.

Trend Alert: Dark Green
How To Sell: Leather Goods
Sales Challenge: The Fitness Market
What's Hot on
News Briefs
Our Favorite Wearables
Wearables Terms
Ask An Expert
Show List

Trend Alert: Dark Green

  Advertisement: Trimark
The women's Ares polo (2425) from Charles River Apparel (asi/44620) is made of 100% polyester piqué knit and includes moisture management and anti-microbial treatments, as well as UV protection. Choose from four color combinations.  
Dark green is making waves in fashion circles this time of year as an unconventional neutral that has enough pop to pair with both pastels and darks. It's perfect for apparel and accessories, especially for branding purposes in light of its versatility and its frequent appearance in global companies' official marketing colors.

"Hunter green in particular is everywhere these days, from dresses, to sweaters, to jackets and more," says Vicki Ostrom, senior designer at SanMar (asi/84863). "Actually, green in general is top of mind, with all eyes on Brazil for the upcoming World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Hunter green evokes excitement and lushness, and it's so prevalent that it's starting to be used as a classic color like black or dark navy."  

Since Emerald was Pantone's 2013 Color of the Year, dark greens have steadily increased in popularity, says Vanessa Keefe, vice president of marketing at Charles River Apparel (asi/44620). "We offer forest green, which is a soothing color associated with renewal and vitality, such as the transition from spring to summer. At retail, we've seen forest green accessories, but now that it's spring, we're seeing it more in apparel such as jackets, polos and windbreakers."
SanMar offers everything from polos and tees to caps and bags in hunter green for a unified team look and an eye-popping canvas to show off a logo. "It speaks to a focus on nature, especially in tropical prints," says Ostrom. "Warm botanical darks are key in playing off brighter tones such as melon and citrus."

Hot markets, says Keefe, include university athletics and the corporate world; green is a key color in the branding for Starbucks, Heineken, John Deere, Rolling Rock and H&R Block. "Distributors should also look at landscapers and park services, grocery chains, and organizations focused on organic food and wellness," she adds, "since green often evokes nature and health."

When pitching dark green to clients, it's important to have samples on-hand, says Keefe. "They need to see how great it looks in person, especially fleece, which looks incredibly rich and attractive," she explains. "It pairs easily with various neutrals, so it lends itself to both corporate and weekend wear. Be sure to point this out, because calling attention to its versatility will help make a sale."
  Advertisement: Jerzees

Take Off The Blinders
Our "Blind Spot" feature pairs readers with experts to overcome their toughest obstacles. Click here to read.

Deep Down

Plunging necklines are going lower and lower. Click here to read.

Men Are From Mars …
Learn the colors that are popular with each gender. Click here to read.

Be sure to visit to read these stories and more.
How To Sell: Leather Goods

Royce Leather (asi/52390) offers debossed passport jackets in top grain Nappa leather. The slim leather wallets, available in a variety of colors, hide radio frequency identification-blocking technology to protect travelers from identity-stealing hackers.  
Whether it's fashioned into a buttery-soft briefcase or a sleek "padfolio" for electronic tablets, leather packs a visual and tactile punch. Leather goods speak to status and success, but the material also has a durability and timeless quality that can be appealing to many markets.

Leather goods are an ideal fit for businesspeople who rack up frequent flier miles and high-powered financiers, says Billy Bauer, marketing director of Royce Leather (asi/52390). "A corporate stamped binder or padfolio makes a tremendous first impression at a meeting or conference," he notes. "A logo-stamped passport wallet or luggage tag will travel the world with you, and unlike many gimmicky promotional items, it serves the dual purpose of branding and function."

An added feature of the passport jackets Royce offers is their RFID blocking technology that helps protect travelers from identity theft. The leather sleeves come in a variety of vibrant colors and boast a slim, unobtrusive silhouette – the RFID shield is barely detectible unless the passport holder is cut open, Bauer says.

Leather also sells well in the educational and automotive markets, according to Rick French, national sales manager for Polyconcept North America. The material has a collegiate history and a comfortable feel that appeals to educators, and car dealerships like items that mirror the vehicles they sell. "You'd be surprised just how many leather padfolio designs are inspired by an automobile's interior," French says.

Though leather goods generally come in at a higher price point, there are a number of popular budget-conscious options. Mixed-material bags and portfolios — pairing leather with nylon or canvas — are on trend and selling well with customers looking to stay under the $100 price point, French says. Manmade vegan leather is available for clients opposed to the material on moral grounds, Bauer says. The synthetic material is much cheaper than real leather, but still soft and supple. "In blind tests we conducted, the vast majority of users couldn't tell the difference," he adds.

Distributors should beware of the vague term "genuine leather," which Bauer says is just marketing speak and has little bearing on quality. Royce specifies the quality of all of its leather, denoting whether it's top grain cowhide, deerskin, harness hide, etc. For the advertising specialty market, Bauer says, it's especially important that the leather is durable enough to bear a logo for years after it is first debossed or stamped.
Will You Be The Next Wearables Top Decorator?
Wearables magazine is bringing back its popular Top Decorator competition for 2014. Sponsored by Hanes Branded Printwear (asi/59528), this competition will test the technical and creative skills of screen printers with a series of challenges throughout the year.

What do you need to know?

Each month will be its own standalone challenge. If you don't participate one month, you are free to enter in the following month's challenge.

Anyone can enter. The competition is open to anybody with access to screen-printing equipment.

There will be prizes. Each month's winner will receive a prize courtesy of Hanes.

This is a competition. A combination of judges' marks and a popular vote by Wearables readers will help determine the winner of each challenge.

The first challenge will involve printing on polyester tees for a hypothetical charity walk. If you are interested in participating, contact Wearables Editor C.J. Mittica at Participants who sign up will receive further instructions and supplied artwork as well as T-shirts to print on, courtesy of Hanes Branded Printwear. The deadline for your printed submissions to arrive is Friday, May 16.

Sales Challenge: The Fitness Market

When it comes to prospecting, now is the perfect time to get in on fitness sales. "Everyone signs up for the gym in January, so they are really busy with the big push," says Nina Shatz, director at Red Ball Promotions (asi/346567). "But the time to pitch an appointment is in March or April. That's when people stop going."

Since gyms are looking for different ways to draw people back in after all those New Year's resolutions wane, suggest an open house or a free giveaway with sling bags, T-shirts, water bottles and other relevant products.

If you already belong to a gym yourself, there's your in. Shatz and her staff belong to a local gym – Elite Health & Fitness Center. It was only natural that the next step after membership was to foster a long-standing business relationship that nets approximately $50,000 a year.

One source of sales is the area in the gym where they sell apparel, which Red Ball supplies. "We usually change it up seasonally," she says. "People actually do buy it. Apparel is the best choice, because people become very proud of the fact that they are working out. Wearing a T-shirt from the gym shows their pride."

The center also has physical therapy onsite, for which Red Ball has designed different T-shirts for members who complete their programs. There are many different boot camps as well, each of which need separate ideas. "They want each one to have different colored shirts with different slogans," she says. "One was ‘Average is Not an Option.' That sold out right away." Don't forget that there are plenty of opportunities beyond for-sale apparel (think: staff uniforms).

Here are a couple of unique ideas you may not have thought of, which you can apply to your fitness clients. Shatz supplied hair bands for members who forgot theirs at home. And, currently, she is working on a program for the café in the center. "If you buy a travel coffee mug with their logo, you then pay less for refills," she says.

Finally, remember to ask for referrals. Clients across all markets work out at various gyms. In fact, Shatz learned this firsthand as some of her clients who work out at CrossFit gyms drummed up that new business for her. "We did a program with CrossFit Kids to get them in there – silicone wristbands had the CrossFit logo and were different colors at different levels," she says.
Capillary Film: A light sensitive film, used to create a stencil, that when applied to a screen with water adheres to the mesh by capillary action.

High Loft: A term given to a fiber structure that contains more air then fiber. It is a lofty, low-density material that is used in such applications as fiberfill, insulation, etc.

Pinholes: Unwanted tiny specs that appear in the stencil after exposure.
American Apparel (asi/35297) has announced flat year-over-year sales in the first quarter of 2014, reporting total revenues of $137.8 million. Despite gains in online revenues, comparative store sales decreased 5% in Q1. Wholesale revenues – which include sales within the ad specialty industry – continued a strong stretch for the California-based supplier, increasing year-over-year by 9% in the first quarter.

Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) has promoted Marc Held to the position of vice president of national sales.

Gemline (asi/56070) has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Xcel Brands, Inc., and will now be the distributor of a select offering of Isaac Mizrahi bags within the promotional products industry in the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit and

Great Dane Graphics has added a wide range of new designs to its wildlife stock art category. All designs are high-quality, pre-separated four-color process stock artwork that can be further customized with text, logos, or other graphics. For more information, go to

Leed's (asi/66887) has released a new series of brand eCatalogs, including Cross, Cutter & Buck (asi/47965), High Sierra (asi/60724), Wenger, Zoom and Elleven. Additionally, the company has launched a Pinterest page led by the in-house product design team that highlights fashion and retail trends popular with end-users. Click here to see the company's pins. Finally, the supplier has released several new products for spring, which can be viewed at

Pop! Promos (asi/45657) has hired Diane Tilly and Jeff Beja as account executives.

Prime Line (asi/79530) welcomes Michael Reisbaum as a national account manager.

Pro Towels (asi/79750) has implemented a Company Care Campaign created for employees to acknowledge the value their peers bring to the company on a daily basis in the areas of Teamwork, Effort, Quality, Attitude and Leadership. Additionally, the supplier has added the Frigitowel, a 100% cotton cooling towel, to its product line. The Frigitowel features a one-time use cooling sensation that lasts for hours and doesn't require water for activation. Visit for more information.

River's End Trading Company (asi/82588) has appointed John Maher its new chief executive officer and has secured a private equity investment from firm GCI.

Roland DG Corporation welcomes Eli Keersmaekers as executive officer, reporting to the Board of Directors.

Sawgrass Technologies, Inc. and Kiian Group of Italy have entered into a long-term license agreement under which Kiian, as an authorized Sawgrass licensee, will continue to sell digital inks for sublimation imaging.

The Screen Print Biz Group, a new decorated apparel business management and development alliance, will hold its first meeting on Thursday May 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express Nashville Airport. The meeting will address best industry practices, diversification, growth strategies and more. For more information, contact Mark Dabiero of Flying Colors Imprinting, Inc. (asi/54867),; Pierre Jamnicky of Blue Moon Promotional, Inc. (asi/700541),; or Greg Kitson of Mind's Eye Graphics, Inc.,

World Emblem (asi/98264) partner company Name Badges International has launched the Regal Badge, the largest badge the company has ever offered. Click here to see the entire product lineup and to design and order custom badges.
Yoga Shirt
Sun salutations have a little more style in this crisp apple green yoga top (051). With a mandarin collar, slight drop tail and side vents, this 100% polyester textured knit shirt has more visual interest than typical workout wear. Comfort-increasing features include UltraCool moisture wicking technology and a heat transfer label, instead of a tag. Available from Tri-Mountain (asi/92125);

Selling tip: The shirt is ideal for yoga studios, gyms, health clubs, spas and any market looking to pair performance features with stylish design.
Q: I'm planning to bid for a high school contract but can't find a supplier for Nike Tech Core apparel. Any suggestions?

A: Get the coveted brand-name apparel at Pro Am Golf (asi/79657);; or find the famous swoosh at Think Tank Golf (asi/91130);

Alternately, sport spiffy clothing from Scoreboard Sports (asi/88747);; or even Technosport Canada (asi/90703); All of these suppliers carry an array of Nike apparel perfect for active high school athletics.

Selling Tip: Make sure high school and college coaches know that brands like Nike and Adidas are available wholesale. Also show them alternative private-label options, if they aren't set on a particular brand.

Q: Where I can buy ladies' velour pantsuits wholesale?

A: Head over to MVP Sportswear (asi/68324); (877) 904-2801;; for cozy velour pants (922) and a matching full-zip Velour Jacket (921).

You can also promote with Horizon-Promote This Logo (asi/61761); This company has straight-leg poly/cotton velour lounge pants (DP410W) available in five attractive colors. A matching velour hoodie (DP405W) with jersey-lined hood and front pockets comes in four colors and sizes up to 3XL.

You might also like the cotton/spandex Bella ladies' French Terry lounge pants (7217) and companion French Terry hooded lounge jacket (7207) from S&S Activewear (asi/84358);

Selling Tip: With all the stress people experience today, relaxation is a welcome prospect. Offer velour sweatsuits to spas/resorts and organizations in the wedding industry (think: bridal party pampering).
Apr. 29-May 2, Montreal, QC; Ottawa, ON; Toronto, ON; Burlington, ON
Advantages Roadshow
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May 13-16, Raleigh, NC; Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN
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May 18-21, New York City, NY
National Stationery Show
(800) 272-7469;

May 19-22, Orlando, FL; Tampa, FL; Sarasota, FL; Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Advantages Roadshow
(800) 546-3300;

May 29-June 1, Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show
(239) 732-6642;

Sponsored By: Targeted Media Services Inc - Hanes
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