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Top Apparel Trends for 2012

Filed under: Education

Wanna know what the top apparel trends for 2012 will be? Then you need to look no further than 2011’s final issue of Wearables magazine, where Editor C.J. “Chaz” Mittica breaks it down and predicts what items could be the next big thing in wearable apparel. In the cover story titled “Top Trends of 2012“, Chaz not only discusses what’s gonna be smokin’ hot in fashion in 2012, but he provides a “Trend Meter” for each.

Neon ShoelacesSo without further ado, here are the trends, along with Chaz’s assessment as well as my personal take. Enjoy!

  1. Dusters and Trench Coats. CJ: Not only are these coats insanely fashionable, but they are also highly practical. Me: It’s hard for me to believe these ever go out of style!
  2. Men’s Jewelry. CJ: It’s definitely big in Europe, but the men’s jewelry trend is only beginning to make headway on our domestic shores. Me: I once got a gold chain for Christmas. I think I wore it once. Count me out of this trend. 
  3. Shades of Orange. CJ: The bright trend has endured for multiple seasons, and continues to feed itself as the public buys more of these items. Orange will be a prominent color choice. Me: Despite being a bright and cheery guy, I just don’t dig bright and cheery colors … at least on me. However, I think women look great in orange. 
  4. Black Ceramic Watches. CJ: Stainless steel and titanium are still the standard for watches, and that won’t change – for now. More watchmakers are experimenting with high-tech ceramic, however, and the material will soar in the years to come. Me: Never been a watch guy, and with cell phones being the modern-day “clock” of choice I just don’t ever see myself buying a watch again. But I do think a black watch would look pretty sleek on a wrist. 
  5. Khaki Americana. CJ: Get ready to pitch khaki hard this year. It won’t replace jeans and denims – but frankly, the two get along just fine. Me: I love me some khaki and, like jeans, they pretty much go with anything. Count me in!
  6. Soft Briefcases. CJ: This is the new look for the workplace (and everywhere else, too). A top-notch bag will immediately get put to use. Me: I get razzed all the time for my soft briefcases, or “man bags.” All I’ve got to say about this one is bring it on!
  7. Anoraks and Hoods. CJ: Hoods and outerwear are nothing new. The anorak will continue to be a top outerwear choice and his little chance of falling out of style. Me: Hoodies are cool, but they mess with my hair. Borrowing from an old Garbage tune, I only like ’em when it rains. 
  8. Drapey Tank Tops. CJ: It’s not the standard yet, but the trendiest suppliers will continue to play with draping in their garments. Be on the lookout for it. Me: This is a great look for women, especially with jeans in a very casual setting. 
  9. Graphic Crewneck Sweatshirts. CJ: Hoodies are still massively popular, and that won’t change for a while. But finally, it looks like we’re seeing some push-back. Me: If I were still in college then I’d be all over this one personally. But since Education is a huge market in this industry, count me in!
  10. Neon Shoelaces. CJ: Neon shoelaces are arriving very quickly. Try it on now before the bright trend infects footwear everywhere. Me: OK, 25 years ago when I used to break dance and was known as “Cocoa,” I sported neon fat laces and ran with a group called the “Be-Bop Crew.” Unless break dancing and fat laces come back into style you won’t catch me wearing antyhing neon anytime soon.

Six Myths About Going Green

Filed under: Green

Going GreenCan one person really make a difference? If they’re buying eco apparel, then the answer is yes!

This month’s “Business of Wearables” edition, written by John Veach of Century Place Inc., describes how all “great journeys start with the first step” and that one singular person can make a difference. It’s a good read, complete with six myths about going green, so check it out! And in the meantime, to pique your interests about the eco-friendly movement, here are the six myths:

  • Myth #1: I alone can’t make a difference.
  • Myth #2: Recycled products will only produce low-grade attire.
  • Myth #3: I can’t be certain these products are eco-friendly.
  • Myth #4: It costs more to support and purchase eco-friendly products.
  • Myth #5: Eco-friendly apparel doesn’t need my support.
  • Myth #6: We have an abundant supply of natural resources.

Vote for Your Favorite Supplier – Distributor Choice Awards

Filed under: Awards

Distributor Choice Awards 2012Distributors, do you work with or know a supplier that is simply out of this world? Then you need to vote for them for the 2012 Distributor Choice Awards! More information from Counselor PromoGram:

Every year Counselor magazine honors the best industry suppliers with our Distributor Choice Awards. Of course, we can’t name the winners without distributors, because these awards are chosen solely by industry votes. Please click here to vote in the 2012 Counselor Distributor Choice Awards.

These highly valued awards will be given out to winning suppliers at the ASI Show in Orlando on Monday, January 16, 2012. We also invite you to attend the event and network with the top suppliers in the industry – as voted on solely by distributors.

Your vote counts and we thank you in advance for your participation. Voting ends Friday, November 18.

So what are you waiting for? Vote now!

Counselor’s Second Annual Halloween Contest Winner

Filed under: contest

Congratulations to Nashville, TN-based supplier The Imagery Group for winning this year’s second annual Office Halloween Contest! With a video that truly blew away the judges, “Your Brains” is a hilarious and creative take on the enormously popular zombie horror genre, complete with great special effects and performances all within an office setting! Check out the video here, or just click the video below. (See their extensive photo gallery too!)

Also receiving honorable mentions this year, Proforma Albrecht & Company for their incredibly creative office decorating contest, and Bag Makers for a their awesome interactive Halloween party.

Thanks for all the submissions this year! You guys really raised the bar and made our decisions difficult. For all this year’s submissions, check out the Best Places to Work Facebook page.

Have holiday parties planned in the coming weeks? Keep the fun, office-based submissions coming, and make our www.facebook.com/bestplacestowork page the place to go for an industry workplace community.

Tip of the Day – How to Apologize for a Mistake

Filed under: Tip of the Day

MistakeWhoops. Uh-oh. Sorry. My bad.

Everyone makes mistakes, it’s part of who we are. But it’s how you deal with mistakes that can ultimately leave a lasting impression to a client. This month’s Counselor Blueprint newsletter not only has some great advice on how to ramp up repeat business, but some good tips on how to apologize for an error:

The key to keeping a customer happy and expanding a relationship can sometimes be determined by how your company acts when something goes wrong. Indeed, an apology can even be used as a way to grow your business with current clients.

So, when an error happens, the first thing you want to do is own up to the mistake. “You don’t want to place blame and try to immediately find the root of the problem,” says Kyle Traylor, principal with consulting firm Klay Consulting, in New York City. “Call the client, explain what happened and, most importantly, explain your plan to fix it.”

Traylor says too many distributors try to blame a supplier or the shipping company or the embroiderer, when really what they should be doing is figuring out a plan. “The time for blame is later,” he says. “All your client wants to hear is that the right items are going to arrive in time for their event. The key is to make that happen, and then you’ll look like a star.”

Clients end up remembering the vendors who always act on their behalf. If a mistake is made, it’s your time to show them the lengths you’ll go to make it right. “Once the error was made, you can’t go back and change it,” Traylor says. “What you can do is apologize and explain how the situation is going to be made right – immediately. Timeliness counts. A vendor needs to repair a bad situation very quickly or the client will only remember the error.”

Save the Date – Exclusive ASI Radio Interview with James Carville

Filed under: asi radio show

James CarvilleNOW HEAR THIS! ASI Radio will be doing an exclusive interview with best-selling author and syndicated news columnist James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 10:30 a.m. EST. Carville, who will be a speaking at The ASI Show Orlando in January as part of a debate with powerhouse journalist Bill O’Reilly, will be sharing his thoughts on multiple topics, including the current political landscape.

According to the ASI Show website:

“James ‘The Ragin’ Cajun’ Carville’ is America’s best-known political consultant. His long list of electorial successes evidences a knack for steering overlooked campaigns to unexpected landslide victories and for re-making political underdogs into upset winners. Along with being a frequent political commentator and contributor on CNN, Carville is co-founder of Democracy Corps, an independent, non-profit polling organization dedicated to making government more responsive to the American people. Additionally, Carville is a best-selling author of nearly a dozen books.”

So save the date and don’t miss this show!


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