Men’s and women’s fashions in the promotional

industry continue to follow retail trends.

In this apparel showcase, check out industry

products that look as if they were pulled

straight from the runway.

according to the U.S. Bureau of

By Andraya Vantrease

Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey

released in October 2010, American consumers

spent more than $208 billion on apparel and

related products and services in 2009. While

women continue to out-spend men by nearly two

to one, the aggregate money spent on fashion has

declined over the past few years, forcing retailers

to use their creativity and clever marketing techniques

to increase customer demand.

As the big companies think of ways to rise above

their competition and reach more customers, so

too must ad specialty distributors. “People in our

industry buy what’s marketed,” says Jim Franklyn,

vice president of sales and marketing for InkHead

Promotional Products (asi/231159), which drives

its sales almost exclusively through the Web. “If

they’re spending their marketing dollars on a product,

you can bet there’s going to be a bump in sales.”

As suppliers and distributors have tried to

expand apparel offerings for end-users, the promotional

market is more closely mirroring the styles

found on the latest fashion runways. In this product

showcase, we show off the latest men’s and women’s

fashions for spring and summer 2011. What follows

are 10 product trends for 2011, each one paired with

a recent runway shot that embodies the latest style

– in the ad specialty and retail markets. JANUARY 2011 103




104 JANUARY 2011

Bad To The Bone

This jacket keeps the wearer

comfortable in the end-ofwinter

weather with its black

lambskin leather sleeves,

collar and trim; deep fleecelined

pockets and anti-pill

black virgin-wool body.

It’s a perfect item for

corporations looking to

keep their employees

cozy and fashionable.

Available from New

Z Lander (asi/73788);

(800) 397-7499;





Men’s sweaters have been popping up on the

runways more frequently in the past couple

of years, and the Perry Ellis spring 2011 line

is no exception. Onlookers welcomed lightweight

sweaters of all styles and colors from

the designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion

Week in New York. Mix and match sweaters

with casual or more professional clothing

and discover how versatile they can be.

The Vest Value

This navy sweater vest adds a scholarly touch to

any outfit. Made of an acrylic wool blend, the

V-neck pullover can be paired with sneakers and

jeans or dress pants and a bow tie – take your pick.

Available from Edwards Garment Co. (asi/51752);

(800) 253-9885;

While many trends begin with celebrities and trickle down, this tough

look originated from motorcyclists and made its way into the closets of

the famous.

It has hit mainstream America hard in the past few years with its

leather boots and gloves, and with the right accessories and the perfectly

rebellious attitude, anyone can pull it off. Here, a model struts his tough

look at the Brix Smith and George Lamb fashion show of the Vintage at

Goodwood Festival in Chichester, England.

Stomping Grounds

These combat boots can be worn by

both men and women and are the perfect

accessory for the tough biker trend.

Made by the original manufacturer of

the U.S. Airforce, Ranger and Special

Forces gear, the boots are purely authentic.

Available from

Cockpit USA

(asi/43022); (212)

575-1616; info@


Safe Tan

This 100% organic cotton club jacket features

adjustable snap cuffs as well as two inside and

two outside pockets. It has a cotton poplin body

lining, nylon taffeta sleeve lining and an inside

storm flap to keep wind out. Available from

Broder Bros. Co. (asi/42090); (800) 521-0850;

106 JANUARY 2011



For khaki


The preppy-boy trend allows guys to be

cooler than school with its Ivy League style

shirts, ties and high-water, colorful pants.

Plaid garments play a huge part in this look

and add to the Southern frat-boy appearance.

Tommy Hilfiger’s spring/summer 2011 show

at New York Fashion Week displayed this

look to perfection.

King Of Prep

Suggest this adjustable bow tie to clients who

want to give off the Harvard graduate impression.

Made of polyester satin and offered in over 10

solid colors, it adds a pop of prep. Available from

Wolfmark (asi/98085); (800) 621-3435;

Spring collections continue to mix bright colors with neutrals like khaki and white. Not only is

the cotton khaki fabric lighter and more breathable than heavy winter wear, but it looks better

against sun-kissed skin and matches the airy atmosphere of the season. This khaki suit is part of

the Tommy Hilfiger spring/summer 2011 fashion show at New York Fashion Week.

Dress For Success

This long-sleeve plaid shirt comes straight

out of Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppy

Handbook. Pair it with shorts and boat

shoes for clients to look their best. Now all

they need is a trust fund and a BMW. Available

from Broberry Mfg. Inc. (asi/42057);

(330) 995-0736;

who wearS

the PantS?

108 JANUARY 2011


Don’t ask why wide-leg pants give off

a “head of the household” vibe – they

just do. Take advantage of it, women.

Pants like these, which appeared in

Carolina Herrera’s spring/summer

2011 collection at New York Fashion

Week, portray power and elongate

wearers’ legs. This trend certainly

plays by the well-known motto: Go

big or go home.


Help your clients and their customers

relax with these wide-leg French terry

pants for women. Made of a cotton/

spandex blend, these pants are low

rise and feature a ribbed waistband

and flare legs for a flattering fit.

Available from Bella-Alo (asi/39590);

(877) 727-2001;


the LaCe

Apparel embellished with lace always appears feminine

and free, two qualities women aim to show off through

their style. Pastel-color garments with subtle lace intricacies

are a fresh choice, and even better when made

of light, barely-there fabrics that help combat the heat.

Model Caroline Brasch Nielsen walks the runway at the

Anna Sui collection presentation for spring/summer

2011 during New York Fashion Week.

Kitchen Couture

Women can look their best while they cook in this lace

apron. Coated for stain resistance and easy care, this

apron features an adjustable neck strap, making it comfortable

for chefs of all sizes. This cotton item is a staple

in any kitchen. Available from Two Lumps of Sugar

(asi/92389); (212) 966-1303;


Say yeS

to yeLLow




Floral prints echo nature and can be found blooming across

the runways each spring. Designer Vivienne Westwood

exhibited this floral dress as part of her Red Label spring/

summer 2011 line presented during London Fashion Week.

Paired with a sun-protecting straw hat, the warm-weather

attire has never looked better.

Perennial Pick

This 100% cashmere wrap is decorated with an intricate

floral design. Its elegant camel and beige color combination

makes it a great addition to any end-user’s summer ensemble,

because the fabric will keep her cool during the day but warm

when the chilly night air rushes in. Available from Eternity

Design (asi/52778); (630) 579-5884;

You can always bet on spring clothing collections to be filled with vibrant colors

that lure customers into their lines. Many designers, including Tommy Hilfiger,

incorporate yellows into their selections for spring 2011. This women’s jacket

debuted at New York Fashion Week.

No Place Like Paris

This poly/cotton blend shirt is decorated

with a yellow, red and black screen-print

design and has a tapered waist and reverse

seams for a vintage look. It’s a great piece

to express the funky, cultural side of any

woman’s wardrobe, and the perfect fit

makes it comfortable throughout the day.

Available from Eternal Apparel; (314) 995-

3742; JANUARY 2011 109




110 JANUARY 2011



For PurPLe

Purple is all the rage for the upcoming season. From

eggplant to lavender, the color is accepted in just

about all of its various shades. It can be worn in

bold garments or subtle accessories. Either way, the

purple palette is a win-win. Max Mara’s spring/summer

2011 ready-to-wear collection displayed loads of

purple hues during Women’s Fashion Week in Milan.

Eggplant Pant

These leggings can be paired with a long shirt,

skirt, dress, jacket – you name it. The deep, rich

tone adds the perfect amount of color to a bland

outfit, and they can pass for casual or cocktail

when worn with the correct accessories.

Available from Alternative Apparel (asi/34850);

(888) 717-3988;

Full skirts offer timeless elegance for just about

any wearer. Their unique silhouette leads the way

in today’s jeans-and-shorts world and conveys

a bohemian, laid-back style when paired with a

form-fitting shirt. Dresses like this one from Milly

by Michelle Smith spring/summer 2011 collection

presented at New York Fashion Week, are flattering

and summery for the upcoming warm seasons.

Bamboo Bombshell

This women’s skirt is made from 70%

bamboo and has an elongated waistband

that can be rolled over or worn long. The

six-panel skirt creates a graceful sweep

and is breathable, antimicrobial and easycare.

Available from Brandwear Basics

(asi/41545); (866) 339-1122;

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