2018 Style Guide: Blue Generation's Eric Rubin on the Promotional Apparel Market
Last week, we covered Next Level Apparel's predictions for promotional apparel in 2018 and beyond. This week, Eric Rubin, president of Blue Generation, Long Island City, N.Y., shared his outlook for the promotional apparel market.
Promotional Apparel Trends
"Younger looks are a definite trend in today's promotional apparel market," said Rubin. "Newer fabrications, such as cotton/poly/rayon triblends, have become a staple today. T-shirts, pullovers and zip fronts are the hot styles."
"Also, younger more tapered fits are important," he continued. "Our collection of 'untucked' slim cuts are a very popular addition to our Superblend Poplin collection of woven shirts. Now, every type of fit is covered: regulars, big and talls, and slim fits for men's and ladies."
For color trends, Rubin has taken note of a few up-and-coming hues, including muted dustier colors. However, he pointed out that the best sellers are still the basics: black, white, navy, royal, red, light blue, tan, hunter and graphite.
Promotional Apparel and Athleisure
Is athleisure finally on the way out? Rubin doesn't think so.
"Athleisure continues to be one of our strongest categories, especially with innovations in textiles, such as moisture-wicking and triblends," he said. "They are extremely comfortable to wear, and with people dressing more casually today in and out of the office, team-wear or spectator-wear, the trend remains strong."
Promotional Apparel and Millennials
We've long been wondering how the new millennial workplace would affect the promotional apparel landscape. Thankfully, Rubin had some observations that will be helpful to promotional apparel suppliers and distributors.
"Millennials are seeking the casual looks more than ever before," he said. "The office environment of progressive companies that attract millennials to their companies are changing. The standard structure of cubicles and offices is moving towards open work spaces, couches, and yes, even bars. The 'We Work' concept of shared office space and flexibility is growing rapidly, and the millennials want casual apparel in younger looks to match their new work environment."
Promotional Apparel Decoration Methods
Rubin also provided some insight into what decoration methods are making their mark on the promotional apparel world.
"Embroidery and screen-printing have always been the staple in the industry, but with advances in technology, newer decoration methods are becoming popular," he said. "Sublimation, heat transfers and digital printing are growing in popularity."