February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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52 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 A t their most basic, hats are intended to keep heads warm. Over the years, how- ever, these functional prod- ucts have become fashion staples. "Headwear is 6 percent of the $21 billion apparel industry, and it's trend- ing up," says Dave Porter, vice president of sales at Sportsman Cap & Bag. Those in the decorated apparel business would be wise, he says, to stay on top of what's popular in this important category. HOT LOOKS The newest trend making waves in head- wear is the neon, or high-visibility, category. "Neons have been making a strong push for the last six months to a year," says Gary Mosley, owner of Kati Sportcap. Neons come in a variety of colors, from yellows and greens to pinks and blues, and are showing up on nearly every style of hat, even the traditional trucker cap. Another trend showing no signs of weak- ening is camouflage. Mosley and Porter both say the rugged print is their strongest category. Their companies are frequently introducing new colors and patterns of camo and are finding ways to incorporate it into all of their product lines. "By far, the number one sport that Cor- porate America engages in is hunting," Por- ter says. "Distributors and decorators often think of hunting as a basic camouflage hat. I don't think there's a limit to how many hats a hunter can own, we just need to give them more reasons to own them. Whether it's pink camo or camo on a knit cap, there are solutions to sell year-round." Other trends in prints include plaids and snakeskins, says Tina Liu, sales and market- Trends in Headwear B Y B E C K Y M O L L E N K A M P Becky Mollenkamp is a freelance writer based in St. Louis, Mo. Her work has appeared in Bet- ter Homes & Gardens, Prevention, and a variety of B2B publications. In her free time, she runs a food and music blog at

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