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Managing Editor

Promotional Fashionista

By Colleen McKenna

About Colleen

Colleen McKenna is managing editor for Promo Marketing. She blogs about apparel trends, fashion news and industry events every Wednesday.

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
7 Pieces of Advice Before Upgrading
Oct 6, 2015

Most everyone wants the latest and greatest upgrade to technology, especially when it’s a free update, like Windows 10 or...

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
'Can't' Is a Four-letter Word
Oct 5, 2015

Most of us learned the four-letter words we shouldn’t say when we were in school. We heard the words in...

Ask the Accountant

Harriet Gatter
Do I Have to Collect Sales Tax for Out-of-state Sales?
Oct 2, 2015

Question: Do I have to collect sales tax for out-of-state sales? It depends, and it's complicated. State governments would like...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
What Can We Learn from The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?
Oct 1, 2015

Since I recently wrote a commentary titled 'Are You Too Old To Rock,' I thought I would share another thought from the...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
So What's Holding You Back?
Sep 24, 2015

Are you afraid to fail? Or are you afraid to get started because you might fail? The late TV preacher...

Lights, Camera, Promotion!

Brittany Hahn
The Mayor of Funkytown
Sep 23, 2015

Each Power Box has its own personality. Power Box 1 is really into dubstep music. He raves hard all weekend long. On...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
Ask the Accountant
Jul 24, 2015

Question: I am starting out as an ad specialty distributor. Is it better to set up my books on a...

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Gotta Love These Supplier Best Practices
Sep 1, 2015

I’ve been in the promotional products industry for more than 25 years, both selling products and programs, and coaching and...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
A Cycle Of Engagement
Jun 10, 2015

In 2015, the journey of the promotional products professional in shifting prospects to clients is more challenging than ever. With...

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Swing All the Way Through
Apr 20, 2015

From time to time, I’ve written about a situation involving one of my kids, and after observing something recently, it’s...

Compliance Chat

Jeff Jacobs
The Exact Cause Was Never Determined
Apr 3, 2015

If you read what normally is in this space, you've seen a lot about the protocol it takes to manufacture...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
Measure the ROI at Trade Shows (Using the Right Mix of Creative and Promotional Products)
Dec 30, 2014

Every year more and more products are being introduced into the market, and after a while it all looks the...

Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...


Kyle Richardson
The Best Laid Plans
Jul 11, 2014

Why it's always smart to keep a planner with your schedule and important documents, and why it's never smart to...

Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Interview with Jason Black, CEO of Top Distributor Boundless Network
May 19, 2014

Ranking #19 on the Top 50 List, Black shares his thoughts on the future of the industry and what has...

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
"How It's Made" Can Make You More
Jun 11, 2014

The show "How Its Made" is celebrating its 22nd season on television. How can we be a hit, season after season,...

Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
Got Control Issues?
May 14, 2014

Does chaos define you? How you respond to certain situations says a lot about your character. Here are five quotes...

Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...

My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...

Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...

The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...

Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...

So Your Imprint Looks Like a Rash (and Other Concerns)


Stella McCartney recently teamed up with Adidas to create women's activewear. A few things are great about the clothing: A high-end designer creating workout gear makes exercise more fashionable and fun; Stella McCartney designed the uniforms for Great Britain's Olympic team so she knows how to do athletic gear.

Now please take a look at the tights. What do you think?

If your first reaction was, "That looks like an ad for rash ointment," then you agree with BeWellPhilly's Emily Leaman and me. I see what Stella McCartney and Adidas were going for. Animal prints are fun! So are bright colors! The rash-like print is not the only iffy part of the pants, but it is the worst. The top is slightly better, but still looks like a before picture for heartburn medicine. Ultimately, red animal print should be avoided on apparel*. Mind you, another color may not have been better, but it would not be so glaringly disease-like.

Another questionable part of the pants is the white hue. White just seems like a silly color for running bottoms. What happens when you sweat or if the light hits you and everything looks sheer? It seems like a problem that could have been solved by someone saying, "Let's try these in black first."

These garments are another example of why you need multiple parties to check your work. They are also a reminder to keep people around you who are not afraid to tell you that that oh-so-adorable idea you have actually looks like inflamed skin.

If everyone you work with is too close to the project to give it a clear look, ask a friend, a spouse or even a stranger to see what they think. Strangers, especially, can offer unbiased opinions. You could even try to pick a stranger in your client's target market if you want to get a knowledgeable opinion and impress your clients with your understanding of their industry.

* I was going to say red leopard should be avoided on everything, but then I saw these cute Leopard Cateye Glasses. Red leopard is fine, just try avoid it apparel, especially tight pants.

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