February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 6 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R || 43 seen at H&M or Forever 21, and many of the products her company and others have introduced for 2016 reflect that with retail influences in their designs. She also says that some examples of these elements include details like fringe on tops and side-parted, shark-bite, or high-low hems. According to Mai, other adaptations include new fabric blends and colors that are more suited to their tastes. It might also mean more fashionable pieces that they would want to wear from day to day. "Style bodies and silhouettes matter and it should tie hand-in-hand with your decoration and whom you market to," Mai says. Seymour adds that the lines between apparel for adults and juniors' apparel is also less defined because both groups demand the best and most current blends, fabrics, and fits on the market. On the other hand, he notes that inclusive sizing is also a deciding factor in choosing blanks to appeal to juniors. "If you deliver that combination, then you will sell to both markets as long as you cover realistic sizing," Seymour says. "I think the internet and social media have spread the best choices to both markets equally and more rapidly than in the past." As always though, for both you and your end user, it is important to remember that regardless of decoration, the quality of the garment is what matters most. While some may not know which fabric blends are which, they will absolutely Right: The newer light- weight fabric blends have posed an in- teresting challenge to decorators, but the development of new inks and decorat- ing methods has helped make these blends more accessible in recent years. (Image courtesy Kavio!) Far right: Social media has played a big part in the spread of trends like side-part and shark bite hems in everything from hoodies to basic Ts. (Im- age courtesy Kavio!) be able to tell if their garments aren't withstanding regular wear and tear, and it will reflect in the decora- tions as well. "If you start with a great garment, you will always be ahead of the game," Seymour says. "There is no fooling this market. If the garment doesn't fit and perform well, the messaging and decorating won't compensate for that. Do your best to keep up with the energy and fast pace fueled by social media using all the mad science that is available today, and you will own the market." DECORATING DIGITAL Technological advances have helped further the ability to decorate tri-blends and other lightweight apparel, particularly with the introduction of direct-to-garment and sublimation printing. However, other established methods are beginning to catch up as well. The young adults and teens that buy juniors' ap- parel have responded well to both sublimation and

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