Eco-style. One of the best fabrics Amsterdam found during his technical assessments was crafted from recycled coconut fibers. He was skeptical at first, but after trying it out he discovered it had better air circulation and exfoliating properties than other materials. “It’s kind of the surface you’d have if you were standing on a loofah sponge,” he noted.
Fabrication. Choosing materials with little extras can help keep end-users comfortable as temperatures climb. Strom pointed to SanMar Corporation’s Port Authority Modern Stretch Cotton Collection of women’s separates. “Made from cotton and a bit of spandex for stretch, these feminine separates offer a summer lightness with the flattering stretch that spandex provide,” he said.
Graphic design. As Strom maintained, lighter and brighter color choices are ideal as palettes warm up with the weather. Finding the right shade is extremely important for how a product will be received, said Amsterdam. He suggested using neutral core colors, and incorporating brand hues into the logos. A black sandal with a green-and-purple logo is infinitely more wearable that green-and-purple sandals with a black logo, Amsterdam confirmed.
Helena. As a must-have summer style for Bella, the blousy Helena Racerback Tank (see below) has a feminine fit that makes it a perfect addition to any summer wardrobe, said Raymond.
Import. Though some of his collection is assembled here, Amsterdam does import a handmade sun visor and beach bag from Indonesia (that’s another “I” word).
Jersey. An additional fabric choice for summer, jersey is most often seen in T-shirts. It is lightweight, has a fair amount of stretch and drapes quite well.
Knowledge. Keep retail in mind when choosing fabrics and styles for summer. “The knowledge that is gained from these outlets will allow for the distributor to make appropriate apparel choices based on their customers and future forecasts,” Raymond affirmed.