February '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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H Check Your Headwear Headwear Trends and Marketing Techniques B Y M I K E C L A R K 40 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 While headwear can be decorated with multiple disciplines, embroidery is still a classic and common request. (Image courtesy Outdoor Cap) H ats are a promotional staple of virtually ev- ery market segment. Whether it's a utilitar- ian-style beanie to keep your head warm, a baseball cap sporting the logo of your favorite team, or an intricately decorated flat-front hat by a lifestyle brand, all are mobile advertisements and golden opportunities for apparel decorators to grow their business. THE LOOK Certain styles of headwear stand the test of time, while oth- ers have fluctuated through the decades. Popularity of each type, says Tina Liu, OTTO International, truly varies with demographic. "For the older population, your classic pre- curved baseball cap [sometimes referred to as the 'Dad Hat'] style is what they prefer," Liu states. "When you move on to the younger population, it's flat visor caps 80 percent of the time." Bill Patterson, HTT Apparel, notes that pro- fessional PGA players started showing up on camera wearing this style of hat in recent years. As popular- ity grew, the look transitioned from a hot trend to a must-have item for decorators. Like other wearables, the emerging trend of corporate social responsibility and sustainability has yielded hats manu- factured with recycled goods. Ben Roberts, Outdoor Cap, says he's seen caps with a heathered or "recycled" look requested in response to this trend.

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