2015 Apparel Preview
As 2014 comes to a close, suppliers are gearing up for the next big things in style for the coming year. Here are some tips from industry professionals about what apparel items will be 2015's biggest hits in terms of fit, design, function and color.
John Perez, marketing associate at Irwindale, California-based Tri-Mountain, said that vibrant colors are something he anticipates being popular within the next year. "We have a number of vibrant colors, like emerald, chili pepper, grenadine and hibiscus," Perez said. "Our new Lilac Bloom styles and colors incorporate popular retail trends and fashions."
Gina Barreca, director of marketing at Vantage Apparel in Avenel, N.J., described the new color and style trends for polos. "Polo trends include more color blocking and the use of dye-sub prints to produce ombré effects, or to replicate the look of yarn-dyed fabrics at a lower cost," she said.
Another main focus for the next year is the growing trend of slim-fitting styles for men. Perez said that Tri-Mountain is increasing its slim-fit designs for men's apparel. "We've introduced a few slim-fitting styles for men," Perez said. "We see this as a growing trend as younger end-users create more demand for these types of designs."
Barreca also said that Vantage Apparel has focused on slim-fit clothing, as it is becoming more and more popular in the industry. "'Lighter and tighter' continues to influence, so the use of stretch and spandex becomes more important, especially in men's styles," Barreca said. "Look for the return of cotton polos that satisfy the modern prep look."
Perez also said that retail-inspired goods are a major part of Tri-Mountain's new product offering. The company's hoodies especially are geared toward younger end-users. "Poly polos are all over retail and very popular with consumers, so being able to get a decorated poly performance polo at a similar price point as a T-shirt is a big deal," Perez said. "It can be a promo item or a giveaway that stands out in quality, usability and longevity versus a simple T-shirt."
Barreca said that the driving force for performance wear is the shift toward lifestyle trends. She said this shift makes the category appealing to a wider audience, rather than just for golf or other sport use.
Using activewear as an influence when making jackets is something she believes will be popular. She described particular traits in apparel that Vantage has been using, and that she believes will become prevalent in 2015 apparel. "Wicking and antimicrobial properties, which have been extremely important in tees and fleece, are also showing up more in wovens," she said. "Layering pieces in quarter-zip and full-zip jacket styles continue to be extremely popular."
New advancements in manufacturing also allow for new features in jackets and outerwear. Barreca anticipates these new technologies will be the key to selling large amounts of outerwear. "Technical outerwear is key in this space," she said. "Look for transitional styles that can be worn as activewear (with yoga pants), or as sportswear with your work day outfit. Quilted fabrics and mixed-media styles—outerwear that combines different fabrics—are everywhere."
Look forward to 2015 being a year where focus is on quality, usefulness and fit. Looking into slim fits for men, vibrant and stylish colors for active and casual wear, and useful outerwear assembled with the latest technology and features will be the key to high sales in the next year when it comes to apparel.