October '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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30 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 Erich Campbell is an award-winning commercial embroidery digitizer with more than 15 years of experience as well as a long-time e-commerce manager, currently digitizing and cre- ating online properties for Albuquerque, New Mexico-based Black Duck. A constant contributor to the industry's content landscape through webinars, podcasts, social media, and more, Erich is an evangelist for the craft, a stitch-obsessed embroidery believer, and firmly holds to constant, lifelong learning and the free ex- change of technique and experience through conversations with his fellow stitch-work- ers. As a current industry and fiber-arts blogger and once medievalist-in-training turned tech-obsessed embroidery designer, Campbell brings his varied experience and interests to bear as an editorial author for numerous industry publications, a member of editorial boards, and a consultant for product support groups. Dad Style Sometimes the coolest thing you can do is stop trying to be cool S easoned decorators see fads come and go, tied to the sarto- rial whims of celebrities, designers, and cool kids alike. Given time, the fashion cycle not only produces these fads but can bring back any style, no matter how unlikely it may seem. With every trend comes the opportunity for reaction; a counter- trend that subverts the design sensibilities of the current wave and replaces them with an opposing style meant to stand apart from the movement or even collapse it outright. It seems that in our irrever- ent, internet-fueled culture, we've combined the desire to poke holes in the popular style, self-deprecating humor that proves we are above all things cool, and our incessant appetite both for comfort and nos- talgia to create the latest of these fads: the dad hat. With more than 40,000 pictures on Instagram alone hashtagged #dadhat, there are plenty of examples to dissect when defining the style. Though they aren't entirely uniform, there's one thing that's certain: The dad hat is everything that the last wave of popular headwear is not. Whereas decorators have been chasing the snap- back, flat-billed hats; trying to create larger, more impressive deco- rations; pushing our 3D foam treatments to get taller profiles; and adding multimedia-like sublimated patches, prints, and appliqué materials to get more and more complicated looks; the dad hat is a study in plain. STYLE BASICS The quintessential dad hat is a low- to mid-profile, unstructured hat with a fabric strap closure and a stan- dard curved bill. As seen famously on the likes of vari- ous hip-hop thought leaders and celebrities of reality TV, the dad hat stands starkly opposed to everything in its environment. Dad hats are generally decorated ERICH'S EMBELLISHMENTS B Y E R I C H C A M P B E L L This simple chile recalls the "hot pepper" emoji, but with a distinctly New Mexi- can chile as its inspiration. This may even be a little large for the average "dad hat" but the unexplained and unsupported simple graphic with its front-and- center placement is a good example of the form. If it wasn't enough that the chile is part of New Mexico's local identity, the pepper emoji is the perfect way to tell the world you know what's "hot." (All images courtesy Celeste Schwartz)

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