2012 Style Preview
With each passing year, apparel suppliers introduce more styles inspired by pop culture phenomenons, runway looks and professional athletic wear. 2012 will be no different. In fact, suppliers have even more in their catalogs than ever before. To see the scope of these new styles, look through the following pages for the best trends, colors and markets for men, women and juniors, as well as suggestions for styles that remain popular every year.
Trends: Lauren Cocco, merchandising manager for Vantage Apparel, Avenel, N.J., predicted 2012 men's trends will include '80s styles and winter-to-spring jackets. She mentioned that ultra-lightweight shell fabrics and polyfills with thermal characteristics will be particularly popular. Cocco also noted that certain embellishments will ring in the new year. "A stylish branding option for outer garments is patch embellishment, such as laser-debossed tech patches that flex and move with the fabric and appliqué patches that incorporate cotton-rib, twill or felt materials," she said.
Colors: The promotional color wheel broadens for 2012's menswear, with bright and muted options available. Cocco offered lawn and lime green, sunburst and bright yellow, bright navy, royal, indigo and charcoal gray in solid and heather shades as leading colors for men's styles in 2012.
Markets: Focus on outerwear for 2012. Every season needs a piece of outerwear, whether it's thermal for winter, lightweight jackets for spring or ponchos for summer.
Perennially Popular: Men need jackets to take them from winter chill to spring rain, so Cocco suggested a lightweight full-zip water-resistant jacket like the one to the right.
Trends: According to Mindy Anastos, vice president of marketing and production planning for L.A. T Sportswear Inc., Ballground, Ga., the best way to use juniors' apparel effectively in a promotion is to reference pop culture. "You can definitely see trends from movies, music and celebrities filter down into the fashion of youth," she said. Be careful not too make the logo too obvious though. "Juniors don't want to be seen as advertising for a corporation, so incorporating the logo into an artistic design is a great way to get juniors to help promote your brand," Anastos explained. In addition to pop culture and trend followers, you will find a good number of juniors who want the exact opposite of a trend. Anastos referred to these as "rebel trends" and mentioned the importance of catering to both demographics. As for new styles, Anastos mentioned cropped shirts, "flowier" garments with dolman sleeves and overall looser-fitting looks. If you want these now, be warned, you might have to wait. "These will start to filter down into our industry in 2012, but I think you'll see a much larger impact in 2013," she said.