July Story Teaser: Collegiate Wear
For our July issue I'm writing a style feature on collegiate apparel. I'm really excited because not only has it been forever since I've written an apparel story, I also think it's a really interesting category and I've managed to weasel talking to some really smart people. To show you just a shred of the wisdom headed to PM come July, below is a portion of my interview with Shannon VanWagoner, executive director, retail, for Boxercraft. Shannon is also the director of Boxercraft's college division,
Promo Marketing: Could you give a brief summary of imprint or apparel styles that are currently popular in colleges today?
Shannon VanWagoner: Vintage, vintage, vintage. Classic, distressed graphics are very popular in the collegiate market right now. But it isn't all about the graphics anymore. The garments are becoming just as important as the graphics. Customers expect soft, fashion fit tees and tri-blend apparel, even in menswear. Collegiate apparel looks closely mirror what's going on at your local mall.
PM: With said styles, are there any technical issues distributors should know to look out for?
SV: College students expect fashion-forward, soft-hand garments. They are
looking for unique print locations. A perfect print isn't as important, especially since the distressed print look is so popular. Imperfections are almost expected. Just don't send them apparel with bullet-proof plastisol prints.
PM: When a distributor is planning work with a collegiate client, what
are some questions they should be asking them? What kinds of questions
should they be prepared to answer?
SV: Know your licensing limitations inside and out. Always have pricing
ready to show your customers that includes royalty, or be aware if your
customer is royalty-exempt.
That's it for now! Check back in July for not only more from VanWagoner, but also a few other knowledgeable suppliers and printers.