April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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THE CHILDRENS WEAR MARKET 34 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 Above: Let your toddler's imagination run wild like the superhero he is! (Pho- to courtesy of LAT Apparel.) Left: This sleeveless fine jer- sey tank with draped back- swing is a breakout star this season mirroring retail and adult trends. (Photo courtesy of MONAG Apparel) market as well. "Within the past five years, our children's division has grown so substan- tially that they could equally compete in the industry for a market of their own," explains Ivy Mai, Kavio! So what tips do the experts extend with concern to the ever-growing possibilities in this niche? "Don't be afraid to test the waters with something different," advises Jennifer Oleksik, LAT Apparel. "As trends evolve in retail, the effect has trickled down into the children's wear market. Parents and kids are both looking for styles that are be- yond basic. Invest in the extra details and don't be afraid to take a risk on some new colors or patterns." It is important to explore the opportunity to add a variety of new styles, colors, and fabrics that are offered in children's wear to stay competitive and attract customers, agrees Amit Gupta, MONAG Apparel. "For in- stance, we have added raglan sleeves to popu- lar ruffle Ts, backswing to all-time classic girly Ts, flutter sleeves to summer dresses, and, of course, raglan style in the gowns, rompers, and bodysuits. These styles are simple yet pro- vide that slight edge for growth," he explains. Planning for what's around the corner is in- tegral to keeping a leg ahead in sales. Retailers have to keep a keen eye on what's garnering attention before they're left behind when a movement occurs. "Trend and season forecasting is very important. Most vendors will release new arrivals months ahead, so we highly recommend buyers to look three to six months in advance to get design ideas implemented and ready to sell when the season hits," says Mai. Avoid waiting until the season starts to begin buying, as the hottest-selling styles and colors can run out-of-stock and waiting for inventories to be replenished can take some time. ELECTRIC YOUTH Having established how important it is never to underestimate the sales boon the children's wear market can provide, what special pieces are driving the developing trends today? What styles are the lovable

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