August '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 4 P R I N T W E A R A U G U S T 2 0 1 9 A sk someone what a stock market broker and an Insta-influence ma- ven have in common, style-wise, and the only response given might be a blank stare. In reality, the answer is so on the nose, it's probably (literally) right under your nose now! Whether it's repped in the form of a conservatively tailored, corporate logoed vest on the trading floor, a cotton candy- colored zippered jacket in a street photo shoot, or a million oh-so-comfy ways in between, we, the people, cannot get enough of fleece. "Fleece hoodies are a staple in everyone's closet," agrees Genevieve Lopez of Next Level Apparel. "The fleece hood was de- signed to keep laborers warm in the chilly conditions of New York City warehouses. Flash forward to the 1970s, and the influ- ence of hip-hop revolutionizes how people would wear hoodies. They were no lon- ger just to keep people from being cold." Lopez explains that the hoodie became a canvas for artists to make a statement. As hip-hop culture became a forceful genre in music and fashion, it wouldn't be much longer until students, style icons, athletes, and the rest of the world followed suit. Part of the reason we love fleece so much is that it looks good on all shapes, feels good in every form, and current trends reflect how we've moved the goalposts for the fabric that moves with us. TOO COOL. FOR SCHOOL! We all know that fleece is the real Big Man on Campus. From an 8 a.m. Econ course to debate practice to the Saturday night hang, prep and college couture is basically one long fleece-filled experience, which also extends to alumni and family. "There may be no greater pairing in the apparel world than college kids and fleece hoodies," states Phillip Ambros, Sierra Pa- cific Apparel Group. "The casualness and comfort make hoodies and sweaters time- tested classics on campus. This year, we are seeing a greater demand for more relevant styles, as the solid color hoodie days are passing and the fashion-forward days are beginning. Textured fabrics, stripes, extra FUNCTIONAL, FAMILIAR, FASHIONABLE… For Everyone, Fleece! J E N N I F E R E L G I N All of the comfort of your favorite fabric with the utter chicness of the traditional bomber jacket. This com- bo is an absolute win-win. (Image courtesy Next Level)

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