FIND A POT OF GOLD WITH Rainbow Patterning

A STUNNING CURRENT fashion trend, rainbow patterning offers a stand-out contrast to the enduring popularity of neutral apparel. This trend exists in a number of varieties, from gradient patterns and traditional stripes to knit apparel and tie-dyes.

“This trend is significantly unique because there are so many dif- ferent ways in which each designer or company can achieve their own variation,” says Yvette Corona, marketing representative for American Apparel. “From varying methods of layout and design to the colors that are used, the possibilities are really endless!”

Tim Tousignant, president/owner of Kerr’s Cotton Creations Inc., agrees. “There is a high level of interest in bright rainbow colors for spring apparel,” he says. In addition, tie-dye designs are especially applicable to wearable promotional items. “Tie-dyed apparel, especially shirts, makes the perfect choice for staying in tune with this high-fashion trend,” Tousignant says. “They’re great for a promotional campaign aiming to incorporate a solid area for decorating on the center or left-breast area of a garment while also featuring bright, bold rainbow colors.” 


gingham revival has staying power 

HAILING DIRECTLY FROM 1950s and 1960s fashion, gingham is one of this season’s most significant fabric trends. Just take a look at the latest offerings from Michael Kors, Bottega Veneta and Diane von Furstenberg for an impressive display of checks in all hues and sizes, adorning everything from flowy dresses and pencil skirts to button-down blouses and woven shirts. Accessories, such as handbags and totes, are getting “checked” too. 

“The gingham revival has real staying power because it’s being used in such a variety of ways and for different products,” remarks Senior Designer Vicki Ostrom of SanMar. “Overall, gingham’s current popularity is due to the fact that it’s retro and modern at the same time, so it suits a broad customer base and age range.” She feels this pattern lends promotional apparel tons of charm and fashion appeal: “In this industry, a gingham shirt has a fresh energy to it. And the color ‘pops’ effectively, either matching customers’ logos or [creating] a visually compelling background that highlights them.” 



LONG A TRADITIONAL sports team and fan favorite, the baseball jersey got a “major” makeover during Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Week, which was filled with sports-themed apparel dominating the catwalks. Reed Krakoff unveiled his dugout-inspired micro-striped dress, while DKNY showcased a men’s oversized, blazer-friendly jersey. 

“The look of a classic baseball jersey never goes out of style,” says Jennifer Nixon, marketing manager at Holloway Sportswear Inc. “And when design elements such as patterns and neon hues are applied to jazz-up these shirts, it gives them a unique look.” 

These design options are a direct result of advanced printing innovations. “With new technologies like custom sublimation,” Nixon says, “the customer’s options are limitless. Colors, fonts and patterns can all be updated as these trends expand.” 

Baseball jerseys can work for everything from fan wear to unique corporate promotions. “Baseball jerseys are always popular in the spring,” Nixon says. “They’re a great way to show team unity.” 


Trend Alert: Pink For Men

From Ralph Lauren polos to English Laundry houndstooth button-downs to Lacoste cable knit sweaters, men have embraced pink as a fashion-forward hue for both professional and personal wear. However, the color trend has shifted recently as men get bolder in sporting pink accessories, such as ties, bags, socks and sneakers.

The movement is reflected in the promotional industry; certainly pink garments for men are widely available as promotional pieces, but industry suppliers now also offer accessories in related shades to meet client requests. Bruce Everakes, president of Wolfmark, says his company offers pink ties, bowties and cummerbunds for formal events, which Everakes says are "our primary wearables for men, so they've certainly been steady and consistent sellers." Wolfmark also carries neckwear styles for both men and women, including infinity scarves, featuring a tone-on-tone ribbon pattern for breast cancer awareness.

While pink is still most often used around October to promote breast cancer awareness, demand has expanded into year-round requests from sports teams, gyms and fitness centers, says Charles Badgett, president of Sports Solutions Inc. Previously, his company carried just one shade of pink; now, since demand has widened, they offer three additional variations.

Badgett credits this subtle trend in part to the NFL's efforts to bring awareness to breast cancer. "Years ago, men just didn't wear pink," he explains.  "Now, you see many of the NFL players accessorizing in pink during October, and this has been fully embraced by the league. These efforts have definitely changed men's perception of pink."


SCUBA BLUE IS Worth The Plunge 

PANTONE’S SCUBA BLUE is a prominent player in spring and summer 2015 collections from high-end designers like Elie Saab and Ermanno Scervino as well as fashion houses such as Bluemarine and Thakoon. A gorgeous, plush version of turquoise with a touch of extra brightness, you’ll find this hue in numerous prints this season, particularly globally inspired designs. 

“Scuba Blue is infusing the season with a burst of color,” says Nancy Robitaille, principal designer for Fersten Worldwide Inc. “Its aqua undertones are reminiscent of Caribbean warmth, and it provides such a vibrant, cheerful air, especially as we come out of the dull, black- and grey-driven winter months. What I most love about this color is that when it’s applied to apparel, it can make for great stand-alone pieces.” 

Robitaille highly recommends incorporating this hue into your promotional strategy. “Scuba Blue is a perfect choice for any spring/ summer 2015 marketing campaign, as it grabs your attention with its brightness and yet is still pleasing to the eye,” she says. “It’s a super color to start your selling season off right.”