October '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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H eadwear is one of those great promotional pieces that works not only for a uniform, incen- tive, or promotional giveaway, but also as a functional item for employees, customers, and athletes alike. Printwear spoke to those heading the charge in whole- sale headwear to learn more about today's popular styles. CAP IT OFF Among the most popular headwear styles is, of course, the baseball cap. Today, caps come in a wide array of styles that range in structure, crown size, number of pan- els, and design details as well as market focus, colors, and prints. And although the trends waver, one thing remains the same: The style appeals to every type of end user imaginable. Currently, the lines between the typical- ly defined athletic, corporate, and promo- tional wholesale markets are more or less blurred, says Sportsman Cap & Bag's Bruce Blackman. This crossover means that head- wear needs to not only be functional with wicking and breathability but also stylish with the ability to brand and decorate. Even so, depending on the end user's needs, preferences among these traits still vary. For example, the athletic market has seen an increase in mesh back caps again, says Gary Mosley, Kati Sportcap & Bag. Flex caps also dominate this segment, adds Joyce Modglin, Outdoor Cap. In promo- tional goods, price is key as this market fa- vors giveaways and prizes. Conversely, the corporate client tends to prefer high-grade fabrics and unique washes that leave an im- pression, Modglin says. Fashionable traits are increasingly popular across the board. Even in the basic baseball cap, fabrics and decorations are getting the stylish retail treatment. One of the more surprising trends of the moment is a denim cap that offers an urban edge in a classic style. As far as prints are concerned, camo is all the buzz. And the camou- What's trending Hot Headwear b y C a r ly H o l l m a n - l o n g relaxed knits are a popular choice for edgier winter events and younger crowds. (Image courte- sy Sportsman cap & bag) 30 | Printwear O ctO b e r 20 1 4

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