June '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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36 || P R I N T W E A R J U N E 2 0 1 6 I n the corporate woven sport shirt category, 2016 so far seems to be driven by performance, pattern, texture, and the outdoor market. Al- though we still live in a knit-driven industry by virtue of the power of T-shirts and polos, woven sport shirts are becoming much more important in today's corporate product assortments. The message here, told through product catalog cover shots and increased of- ferings of "woven" fabric sport shirts, is that woven sport shirts are becoming a larger piece of the overall wearable apparel sales in our industry. Let's look at the three major movements in today's corporate woven sport shirt assortments fueling this growing trend. PRACTICAL PERFORMANCE The performance story in today's corporate woven sport shirts began more than 25 years ago with the introduction of "wrinkle-free" woven dress shirts in the early 90s. Built upon the success of the wrinkle- free/easy care features in the pant and bottoms indus- try, wrinkle-free shirts came on the retail scene with cotton and polyester blended fabrics that featured topical chemical treatments and fused cut parts. The first "wrinkle-free" dress and woven corporate sport shirts were manufactured exclusively with blended Business Style Today's Corporate Woven Sport Shirts B Y D A V I D B E B O N Formally executive vice president of Capital Mer- cury Apparel for 18 years, David J. Bebon is CEO of DBEBZ Apparel, a manufacturer of woven and knit sport shirts. He resides in Connecticut with his wife, Zoe, and four children. Bebon is a frequent speaker and presenter at industry trade shows and contrib- uting writer for several trade publications. Textures and patterns add di- mension to the woven category. (Images courte- sy alphabroder)

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