4 Trends Taking Over Band Merch

Promotional, branded apparel has seen a resurgence in pop-culture — with particular influence from the music industry — in recent years. Not only is it a great marketing tool to generate awareness and revenue for the talent, it’s an easy way for fans to feel connected to their favorite artists. While band (or artist) merchandise (merch) fell off a bit, during the early-to-mid 2000s, the trend has seen continual growth rate since 2016. 

According to the 2019 Global Licensing Survey, global retail sales of music merch was worth nearly $3.5 billion in 2018, up from $3.33 billion in 2017 and $3.08 billion in 2016. In short, increased consumption of streaming services has propelled some of the largest labels in the industry to find alternative ways of generating revenue for artists. The easiest way to do that: selling apparel. 

Now that band merch has been elevated to include more fashion-forward styles, fans can’t get enough of it. Couple that with how easy it is now to get your hands on these items through e-commerce, and you have a boom in sales — as evidenced by Brockhampton’s often completely sold out merch platform.

Fans don’t even have to physically go to a concert to buy tour merch anymore. Many A-list musicians are collaborating with mainstream retailers to offer band merch that ties the artist’s album together with fashionable apparel collections. Arianna Grande’s Sweetener H&M collaboration is a great example of that.

So, what exactly are some of the most popular band merch apparel trends today? We scoured some of your favorite artists’ merch platforms and collaborations; here’s what we found: 

Top Four Band Merch Apparel Trends 

1. The Classics

According to merch company, Sandbag — who’s worked with rock legends like Radiohead and Arcade Fire — classics still reign supreme. That includes the dad hat. You know something is popular if it’s in Chance the Rapper’s online store, sporting his popular “3” logo.

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The Fanny Pack Resurrection

Whether you love them or loathe them, fanny packs are a topic of fashion buzz dating back to arguably the 1950s. From must-have festival bags to high-fashion statement pieces, the handy pouches’ origins were designed to serve as functional and convenient mini packs that have had quite the evolution into today’s modern society. 

The Rise and Fall — and Rise Again 

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the fanny pack is back, with no signs of fizzling out of the mainstream market anytime soon. 

Origins of the convenient pouch remain unclear — some mentions seemingly date all the way back, 5,000 years ago, to the Ice Man, whose mummified body was found wearing a fashioned belt with a pouch attached. Recent legend has it that the fanny pack was invented by an Australian woman in 1962 who was inspired by the pouch of a kangaroo. Whether we chalk that particular possibility up to urban legend or not, the combination of belt and bag has existed in different iterations across varying cultures and eras due simply to the concept’s utility. Similar designs to the modern fanny pack over time have included the Medieval Scottish sporran (in a day where most clothes did not have pockets, belt bags just made sense), and the chatelaine purse, a stylish Victorian era belt bag.


(The Scottish sporran was born out of necessity for pockets)
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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Champion Apparel

Originally known as the “Knickerbocker Knitting Company,” the inventors of the classic reverse-knit weave have come a long way since their birth in 1919. For decades, Champion has been outfitting top athletes, military, students and fans worldwide with the iconic “C” logo. Their commitment to long-lasting quality and focus on teams, rather than individual superstars has helped them experience a longevity and resurgence, not many apparel companies get to enjoy. In celebration of their, now 100 years in the business, here are 3 things you should know about how Champion has impacted all of us.

1. The Reverse Weave changed everything, but what exactly is it?

1938 Reverse Weave Patent

Since Champion was a major supplier of tees and sweatshirts to sports teams around the country, when coaches started to complain about shrinkage in their uniforms, the company came to the rescue and invented the reverse weave knit in 1934. Simply put, to help the garment maintain its shape and fight shrinkage, the grain of the sweatshirt fabric was made to run sideways instead of vertically (like most apparel) and side panels were added in for additional reinforcement. Since then, modifications were made to give the fabric a greater stretch, and an even better fit.

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The Top Seven Color Trends Predicted by Pantone for Winter 2019

Each season, Pantone Color Institute graces us with their Fashion Color Trend Report based on the stunning pieces flaunted down the runway by top designers at both New York and London Fashion Week. The Fall/Winter 2019/2020 report includes a radiant display of bold and classic colors, proving that this year is all about individuality and expression

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes the collections as ranging from, “easy and sophisticated to strikingly different and unique.” 

As high fashion always seems to trickle down to the mainstream, it serves as a valuable piece of information to help make guided decisions for your upcoming inventory for the colder months ahead. 

Of the total 32 colors chosen as inspirational highlights (16 for New York Fashion Week, 16 for London Fashion Week), we chose the top seven most wearable hues you can expect to see in every shade this winter—along with a few products in similar color options. 

Pantone’s Top Seven Color Trends for Winter 2019

1. Chili Pepper: Pantone 19-1557 

A spicier cousin to Pantone’s spring ‘Fiesta’ shade, Chili Pepper is listed as the leading color for fall and winter this year. Incorporate a touch of the hue for added drama within your designs by selecting tees with statement sleeves, or showing some flavor with an all-red fabric and simple embroidered logo. 

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Bobby Hundreds Turned His Passion for Art Into a Streetwear Brand

The man, the myth, the legend: Bobby Kim, better known as “Bobby Hundreds” in the industry, is one of the most coveted names in streetwear. But it wasn’t a straight shot to success. In fact, in an interview with GQ, Kim said his failures were the greatest lessons that fueled his ambition to think more creatively—and that he did. 

To understand how Kim cultivated a successful streetwear brand, just look to his undeniable passion for art.

From Art to Successful Streetwear Brand

“You’ll never make money off your art.” 

From an early age, Kim’s obsession with art was impossible to miss. As a child, he could spend hours quietly doodling to keep himself entertained. However, as he grew older, his parents made it clear he should pursue other paths. While they appreciated the arts, they never thought it was a viable career and told him he’d never make money that way. 

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4 Ideas for Mini-Me Matching Themes

In light of the “mini-me” fashion craze, we’re seeing everything from parent-child tees to dresses to hats pop up in the market. In fact, if you search the hashtag #minime on Instagram, you’ll find over seven million results

High-profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé are no strangers to the style, as they are often seen flaunting matching outfits with their kids. So, why are we so obsessed with looking like our children and having them look like us? Let’s dive in. 

The Mini-Me Craze

If we travel back to the 1960s, mothers used to make clothing for themselves and their children using the same fabric. However, back then these matching styles were usually considered outdated. If only they knew how the style would be highly popularized today. 

Conversely, elegant mini-me matching has long been popular in Russia and the Middle-East. Only in the last couple of years have we seen an uptick in trendiness in the U.S., due in large part to celebrities and social media influencers. 

According to Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology of Fashion, family members want to dress similarly because it creates a sense of belonging and show of good-standing. Mair explains, “It makes a positive statement about the family to observers, as it’s doubtful that a family or couple who were not in a good place emotionally would dress the same.” 

Not to mention, it pulls at the heartstrings. All in all, the trend is well-received globally by parents and kids alike and offers an opportunity for brands to expand their product offerings. 

The luxury market may be leading the charge, but that’s not stopping retailers from throwing their hats in the ring, and it shouldn’t stop you either.

We’ve rounded up four fun ideas for mini-me matching themes below.

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5 Things College Students Love Wearing

When we think of college we think all-nighters, dissertations and spring break shenanigans. College is a time for education, growth, and discovery, in all areas of life—from earning a degree to crafting a signature style. More importantly, the numbers show that the college retail market is vast and thriving. 

Research by Deloitte revealed college students and their parents planned to spend $4.2 billion on clothing and accessories in their back-to-school shopping last year, with an average per student spend of $279. 

So, what are college students actually wearing these days, and how can your brand cater to the market? Instagram, Youtube, and niche sites like CollegeFashionista can give you an inside look from the student’s themselves. 

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Picking the Right Water-Resistant Jacket

Spring and summer showers are not only good for the flowers, but for your rainwear sales as well. Whether commuting or hiking, it’s not enough for customers to simply tout around an umbrella, especially for those who frequent the great outdoors. Now is the time when many people are searching for jackets that are breathable, stylish and resilient.

Customers want protective materials that allow them to enjoy their active outdoor adventures or strolls through the city without getting soaked from head-to-toe. In fact, an important piece of criteria that many people use to evaluate the best suitable lightweight jacket is water-resistance.  

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

In picking the right outerwear jacket for a customer, it’s important to understand the difference between waterproof and water-resistant.

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Dime MTL: How Teenagers Built a Legendary Brand

In today’s retail landscape, online storefronts and strong brand social followings reign supreme. One of the most exciting aspects about the rise of the online retail experience is that success is available to anyone with a real vision, knack for identifying trends, and strong ambition.

Never has there been a better time for mom-and-pop shops and small team brands to make it big. For some true underdog inspiration, look no further than Dime MTL, a Montreal based skate-streetwear giant. The story of how a group of teens came together to create a streetwear staple shows the power of community and niche markets.

The Dime legacy

The origin of Dime began in 2005, when teenagers Antoine Asselin, Phil Lavoie, Bob Lasalle, Hugo Balek, Charles Rivard, Eric Riedl and Alexis Lacroix began posting collections of silly (but impressive) skate videos to the backdrop of nostalgic 90s hip-hop beats. Within a few years, they had gained a small cult following in Canada and decided to make their first batch of 100 t-shirts at a local print shop under the original moniker, “Dimestore Crew.”

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Why Alternative’s “Go-To Collection” Was Made For You.

Every distributor has their list of favorite brands to use for those simple, everyday orders on a budget, and Alternative is ready to be one of them, with their new “Go-To Collection.” So, why should you be excited about this? Because, it was created specifically for YOU, the distributor.

Lower Prices? Tell Me More.

“The Go-To Collection was developed as a response to growing customer requests for lower pricing and more colors in their favorite, best-selling styles,” says Kevin Miles, Sr. Marketing Manager at Alternative Apparel. “With the buying power of our parent company, Hanes, we were able to negotiate lower prices with our vendors, without changing anything about the garments. The best part is that Alternative is giving that savings directly back to the customer, through the Go-To Collection. Everything in the collection is still the same quality and softness.

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