Bold patterns and plenty of bling stood out in the apparel and accessories at last week's ASI Show Dallas. The show boasted 485 exhibitors and 3,435 attendees, an increase of about 4% over 2014. Here are a few trends to keep an eye on for 2015.
Sublimation: Digital printing techniques continue to grow in popularity, and Dallas was awash in sublimated synthetics. Toddy Gear (asi/91411), for example, offers a cinch pack, cut and sewn in the U.S. on custom-sublimated silky microfiber with a plush interior. “It’s a high-end version of an industry standard,” says Jason Emery, vice president of the company. In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494) has expanded its focus on the technology, offering things like sublimated foil embellishments, in addition to seam-to-seam prints. Though allover printing is still hot, many suppliers made a splash with sublimated accents. Jamie Allen, marketing director of HTT Apparel (asi/58842), said hoodies with sublimated sleeves and contrast piping have been a particularly popular item.
Digital Camo: Camouflage was well-represented in Dallas, from the traditional green patterns to more specialized looks, like a sunflower-covered camo designed specifically for dove hunters. From a fashion perspective though, neon-bright digital camouflage ruled the day, particularly as accents on team jerseys. Augusta Sportswear (asi/37461) was touting four styles of its Digi Camo jersey, available in 15 colors. “It’s a product that’s in demand,” says Melanie Beland, an Augusta sales rep.
Glitter: J.America (asi/62977) expanded its foray into glitter styles, adding a ladies’ crew fleece, a full-zip, color-blocked hoodie, as well as several new colors to the glitter T-shirt it introduced last year. “Our glitter collection has been super, super popular, especially here in Texas,” says Steve Zimmerman, national sales director. He added that the appeal is much larger than the cheer and spirit market, noting that many women have been incorporating the blank glitter tees as part of corporate wear.
Wearable technology: Idol Memory (asi/62222) entered the burgeoning wearable tech sector, introducing the iMove fitness band, which tracks movement and sleep patterns and is paired with a smartphone app for Android and iOS. The band can be branded on the edge of the display, or with an emblem on the back. It’s a game-changing development, since retail fitness bands don’t allow imprinting on their products, says George Shih, Idol Memory president. The bands, which Idol is encouraging distributors to sell for $50, also cost significantly less than their retail counterparts.