Shades of Meaning
December 30, 2008

WHAT’S MEXICAN FOOD got to do with it? Or, for that matter, Japanese animation or Apple computers? Turns out, a lot. Together, they’re three indispensable ingredients for a total nerd-fest. But, taken on their own merits, the seemingly incomparable trio comprises just a few tools of the color analyst’s trade. “I think a lot of people think forecasters sit in an ivory tower and dream up these things and hoist them on the public,” said Leatrice Eiseman, author of Color: Messages & Meanings and director of the Pantone Color Institute, the Carlstadt, New Jersey-based color research and information center. In fact, the “it”

Dollars and (Fashion) Sense
October 28, 2008

ECONOMY SHMECONOMY. NOT to be glib, but that headline has sold one too many papers these days. Yes, things are not necessarily prospering, however, what the general public should be talking about is how to respond to these given circumstances. Facing the unenviable challenge of helping end-buyers find value in items that can all-too-easily be considered “extraneous,” now more than ever, suppliers and distributors must continuously prove the worth of their wares. Showing how each garment can be used in a practical wardrobe application attaches a tangible benefit to every dollar spent, an essential formula for continuing to drive business through financially uncertain

Fall Forward
March 31, 2008

I plan ahead. For everything. So imagine my surprise at finding myself reporting on an industry that is routinely looking at, projecting on, and yes, planning for the future. Spring’s barely here and the apparel folks are hunkering down for fall? It felt like the mothership calling me home.
Besides, the current weather situation is making me supremely doubt the whole idea of spring, anyway. I’m still in my down coat, I don’t know what this “spring” is of which you speak. So I’m going to skip the disappointment at this deadbeat season and mosey on over to fall, where the fashion forecast looks

Live from Las Vegas
January 22, 2008

8:37a.m. — Bright and early, here’s your loyal correspondent, blogging live from the PPAI Fashion & Accessories Show. Despite its 8:30 a.m. starting time, there’s a more-than-adequate turnout, though according to a few of my row companions, it’s considerably less than years past. The coffee hasn’t yet dispersed through my system, and I can kind of see how this could be that much more fun with cocktails instead.
8:41 — The lights dim 10 minutes late, and I can’t help but think of Marc Jacobs’ two-hours-overdue N.Y. Fashion Week opening. Good to know our industry can keep “fashionably late” from approaching diva-like proportions!

Tim Klouda Joins River’s End as President of Promotional Products Division
December 11, 2007

Minneapolis-based River’s End Trading Company announced Tim Klouda has joined the company as president of the promotional products division. Klouda has been in the promotional products industry since the early 1980’s and brings extensive experience to the company. Among his accomplishments, Klouds brought the first consumer brand, Munsingwear, to the promotional products industry and then became president of PremiumWear. Klouda’s success at PremiumWear includes the building of a national sales organization that successfully introduced and grew Page & Tuttle, Jockey, Burk’s Bay, Forsyth Dress Shirts and Munsingwear. Klouda’s objective at River’s End Trading is to build a national sales organization and grow

2008 Style Preview
December 1, 2007

FORGET THE FOUR SEASONS. 2008’s fashion forecast is all about states of mind. Better-cut styles will have wearers exuding confidence. Reinvigorated color choices illustrate newfound energy. Going corporate takes a turn toward the future, while organic looks keep consumers’ feet and thoughts on terra firma. Below, suppliers take stock of their offerings for the industry’s most fashion-friendly new year in recent history. “For 2008, we are thrilled to introduce our brand new Missy division, which features basic to fashionable apparel that is cut to fit the everyday woman. Nine new styles will be available at the start of the year.” —Dean Vuong, vice

Jayme Weber Appointed President of the Promotional Products at PremiumWear
November 20, 2007

“Jayme Weber has been appointed president of the promotional products division effective November 30th, 2007,” announced Harris Hester, CEO Forsyth Holdings, parent company of PremiumWear, Minnetonka, Minnesota. Jayme succeeds Tim Klouda who is leaving PremiumWear for another position in the industry. Weber joined PremiumWear in 2001 as national sales manager and was named vice president of sales, promotional products division in 2005. Further, Weber has more than 20 years experience in apparel sales management. Prior to his career at PremiumWear, Weber worked as an independent owner of a sales representative organization and as a sales representative. “We are excited about our growth in

Inside Outerwear
September 1, 2007

FOR A LONG time, outerwear has been somewhat on the outskirts of the promotional apparel landscape. Much more attention had been given to its business-ready, corporate casual counterparts. These days, however, promotional outerwear is charting its own course and marching to the beat of its own drum. With a rise in environmental awareness and a greater focus on fabrication, outerwear has redefined its role in promotional apparel, and thus distributor profits. “Fabrications are the big story in promotional outerwear,” noted Cathy Groves, vice president of marketing at Overland Park, Kansas-based Dri Duck Traders. “Bonded soft-shell fabrics, cotton canvas waterproof and fabrics with any type of

PremiumWear Announces End of Burk’s Bay Affiliation
July 10, 2007

PremiumWear, Minnetonka, Minn., recently announced it will no longer serve as the sales and marketing agency for Nucom Ltd/Burk’s Bay leather, effective Oct. 1. After a 15-year affiliation, the business relationship between the two Minnesota-based suppliers is coming to an end with the release of their respective 2008 catalogs. “We are grateful for the many years together and see bright futures ahead for both companies,” said Tim Klouda, president of PremiumWear’s promotional products division. “The decision to part company was made in the best interest of both organizations, and we wish our friends at Burk’s Bay all the best in their