Printwear and high street working in synergy

Pastel shades and military greens were big in 2018, expect these colours to stick around in 2019 (Images supplied by Next Level Apparel)

The printwear market has always sought inspiration from the high street. The gap between trends marking their mark in retail before moving into printwear is lessening. Here P&P explores the styles that you can expect to see develop in 2019.

The printwear and high street market are one and the same, explains Nick Henderson, business development regional manager at PenCarrie. “They work in synergy together depending on fashion trends and customer demand.”

He continues: “High street trends will influence customer wants and needs, which will influence what is requested from, and produced by, the printwear market. Colours will always filter through from the high street, such as pastel colours and military green – two big trends in 2018, which we have seen in the printwear market in the washed hoodies and tees.”

Athleisure was a big hit in retail last year and a trend that is not going away any time soon. For those not in the know athleisure is basically where it has now become acceptable to wear your gym gear to work, down the shops or in any other social setting.

Roberto Talón, MD of Roly, confirms this: “Casual clothing has acquired a sportier and informal style, so the new models in 2019 are bound to be inspired by this trend.”

Cropped sweats and hoodies are expected to be popular in 2019. Pictured here is Continental Clothing’s new collection (N57)

One particular trend that has been highlighted to be big in the printwear sector in 2019 is cropped styles for women and girls.

Sharon Bell, brand manager at Just Ts by AWDis, explains that this is a strong trend that has been around for a few years in retail, but it’s one that looks like it is here to stay for a few more seasons, becoming a wardrobe essential for Ts, knitwear and sweatshirts.

To keep in tune with this trend, Just Ts added the Tri-Blend Cropped T (JT006) into its collection for 2019. Sharon explains why: “The Girlie Cropped T meant that we could add a different style of T shirt for females to offer versatility. With the boom in gym goers over the years and women starting to feel more and more empowered, we wanted to offer a T shirt that made a real statement. The design is a true wardrobe staple, packed with versatility.”

Just Ts isn’t the only brand to launch cropped styles. Continental Clothing has also tapped into this trend and in the autumn introduced ultra-fashionable cropped sweatshirts and pullover hoods for women (N57 and N57P), while Just Hoods by AWDis introduced the Girlie Cropped Hoodie (JH016), which features a relaxed feminine fit with a cropped cut, drop shoulders and raw-edged hem.

Retail staple, moves into printwear

Denim has always been a staple of the retail market, but not always one to hit the big time in the printwear market. “Fashion in general, and trends in particular, always end up spreading and filtering from catwalks to the mass market, until finally they reach the promotional sector,” explains Roberto. “That is why only the most persistent and most accepted styles end up influencing the printwear sector.” This could explain why denim hasn’t always been at the forefront of the printwear sector, but in recent years this trend has been on the rise.

The brand So Denim by AWDis was launched in 2016 with a capsule range of just two styles. Three years later, the brand has grown significantly and is going from strength to strength.

Kirsten Ferrol, brand manager, explains why denim is on the rise: “Denim never goes out of style; over the past couple of years we have seen a rise in embroidered, appliqué and patch details on denim on the high street, and double denim continues to be a big trend. This opens up doors to the printwear market, where people want to create unique designs with a contemporary look. Distressed denim is another longstanding retail trend, and we predict this will filter down into own brands and casual uniform markets.”

So Denim has taken inspiration from the high street and this year has launched the Noah and Olivia (SD060 and SD065) denim jackets and slim fit Luke and Sophia (SD050 and SD055) fashion jeans.

Denim is on the rise in the printwear market. Pictured here is So Denim by AWDis’ new slim fit jeans (SD055)

“With our new fashion jeans, we have taken on the ever popular distressed trend, engineering something that is fashionable, but still suitable for casual uniforms or further embellishment. The use of creasing and blasting to create contrasts gives a retail look, while pushing the boundaries of the printwear market,” explains Kirsten.

Other brands which have recently introduced denim into their collections include Premier and B&C.

For example, Premier has the men’s and women’s Jeans Stitch Denim Shirt (PR222 and PR322), which is perfect for bars and cafes looking to capitalise on the denim look, while B&C has the Iconic Denim Trucker Jacket (JWD11), which is highly stylish and fashionable.

While on the childrenswear front, Mantis World has introduced for 2019 its Baby Rocks denim collection. This features four denim styles made in 100% organic denim. It was developed to offer customers a credible and wholly retail opportunity that’s brand new to the babywear market.

Besides these popular trends, an increase in awareness of where and how garments are sourced is also creeping into the printwear market. Kirsty Macdonald, brand manager at Mantis World, explains: “We’re already seeing the increase in awareness of environmentally-responsible materials in retail, with more and more high street and retail brands both promoting and pledging an increase in their use of sustainable fibres. From Zara’s ‘Join Life’, H&M’s ‘Conscious’ to Marks & Spencer’s ‘Plan A’, to name but a few, sustainability is big news and can only spill yet further into our marketplace as it becomes ever the norm within retail.”

There we have it. Next time you are considering what styles to offer your customers, it might be time to seek inspiration from the high street and see what styles printwear brands can offer you in respect of this.

Kirsty Macdonald, brand manager at Mantis World, pinpoints one of the brand’s newest styles and explains the retail inspiration behind it…

Women’s Tipped Polo (M192)

“The new Women’s Tipped Polo (M192) is being introduced to the Mantis range to offer a truly modern fit that women will want to wear. While the polo shirt market is undeniably extensive, research suggested that the available shapes and styles didn’t reflect what was happening in the retail sector.

The M192 offers a more relaxed fit without being oversized, and the boxier cut and length offers great wearability with a keen eye on fashion and style. Much work was done on the fabric; an organic cotton micro-piqué which gives softness and a smoother print surface than standard piqués.

It’s a polo for all ages too; and feedback from those that haven’t considered polo shirts before has been fantastic; it’s a polo that women actually want to wear and, being made in organic cotton, it both feels and looks good on a multitude of levels. And, with sustainability at the core of all Mantis World does, the buttons on the placket are made from coconut shell. At time of writing the style is in production and expected to hit the UK in January 2019. And there’s a men’s garment to match!”

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