INVESTIGATION OF U.S. DEMOGRAPHICS IN TODAY’S BUSINESS WORLD

by Andrew Sia

Opening

Do you know the composition of the generations of the U.S. population? First, let’s define these generations.

• Greatest generation (1901 to 1924)
• Silent generation (1925 to 1945)
• Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964)
• Generation X (1965 to 1976)
• Millennials (1977 to 1995)
o Younger Millennials (age 18 to 27)
o Older Millennials (age 28 to 36)
• Generation Z (1996 to present)

The following is the U.S. population by generation:

Below is the number of years each generation lasted:
• Baby Boomers – 19 years
• Generation X – 12 years
• Millennials – 19 years
• Generation Z – 22 years and still going

Here is the present age of each generation:
• Boomers – early 50s to 70s
• X Generations – 40s to just reaching 50
• Millennials – 21 to 39
• Z Generations – just reaching their 20s

The purpose here is to find out consumer trends based on these different demographics with the hope of identifying their affordability and preferences so we can start to serve them more meaningful products that fit their lifestyle.

First let’s delve into each generation, from 1946 to the present – a total of 70 years…

Some Facts and Figures

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Trade Pact: Aspects of the Different Free Trade Agreements (Part 2)

by Andrew Sia

Introduction – To open Part 2 of our series I have to say: the world is going through turmoil to an extent I’ve never seen before.

It’s no secret that global trade has lost its steam; we’ll discuss this later.

Throughout history we’ve seen wars between nations and once the conflict has ended, the settlement between the two parties always came with trade treaties to reopen the flow of business. Let’s start by discussing some incidents of late.

The case of Japan and Russia – We read the latest that Japan is hoping to end the long-running dispute over a group of islands that Russia calls the Kuril and Japan the Northern Territories. The starting point for any settlement would most likely be a 1956 joint declaration by Japan and at that time, the Soviet Union, agreeing that the four smallest disputed islands, Habomai Islands, Etorofu Island, Kunashiri Island and Shikotan Island should go back to the Japanese. But there is little sign Putin wants to return any territories at all.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s minister for economy, trade and industry, said Tokyo had put forward many projects and Moscow almost 70.

All this preparation has helped to develop a better environment in which to conduct what the Japanese call the Northern Territories negotiations. The Japan-Russia economic relationship has so far been centered on energy investments in fossil fuels and renewable energy. Areas where the Russian people have needs are hospitals and urban development, promotion of industry in the Far East, and cooperation in advanced technology…

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The New Frontier of Intimate Apparel: The Athleisure Brands – Part 1

by Andrew Sia

Athleisure is the only business to see growth in the garment industry. It has the most brands, with new brands coming out everyday due to the ease of online marketing, but this also makes the business more challenging.

It’s anticipated that the market for athleisure will slow down become difficult to grow simply because there are so many players competing in the same market.

Lululemon Athleticawww.lululemon.com
Founded in Vancouver in 1998 by Chip Wilson, the company began as a yoga apparel company. A yoga image appears as the logo. The company has its share of controversy.

Chip stepped down in February 2015 after making comments that angered customers. Product quality has also suffered, causing the company to lose its share of the market, not to mention that it faces very steep competition.

The current CEO is Laurent Potdevin. As of 2015, It had 354 locations with revenue of $1.79 billion and a net income of $239.03 million.

The company is best known as a designer and retailer of athletic apparel. It offers a wide range that includes pants, shorts, tops and jackets designed purposely for yoga, running, dancing and general fitness. They even have a small selection of swimwear designed for sports. The brand has a good selection of sports bras as well.

The brand currently ranks third in catering to a smaller, higher-income market than both Nike and Under Armour and is number one and two in brand-ranking for athletic apparel…

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SIMONE’S ROOM WITH A VIEW SS2018: Preview of Lingerie Trends and Direction

by Simone Gerschitzka

Yet another year has passed very quickly and I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! filled with fantastic surprises, great customers and interesting upcoming projects in your “working world”!

PS: Please keep Pantones color greenery also in mind for SS18 … the shade will stay for a while.

For SS2018 I would like to share with you the following forecast and ideas: Urban living among “trendy green enclaves,” mixed with “digital presence” everywhere is the way we live now. Not to forget “lightness” in which we would like to indulge ourselves (in actual fabrications as well as in our thoughts), we aspire to “health,” and the almost out-of-date word “wellness” we still do care about. Being connected to anyone, any information, any opportunity and last but not least being able to consume & order anything anytime from anywhere drives us. A speed of light pace of living & working & consuming has reached us. Does this affect a so-called trend forecast for our industry at all you might ask? Yes it does. That means we ought to be carefully selective of which designs we chose for the coming season… take a look.

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INTRODUCTION TO SWIMWEAR PATTERN CUTTING PRINCIPLES

by David Morris

Prior to embarking on drafting or adapting basic swimwear blocks it is helpful to develop an understanding of basic stretch pattern cutting principles which relate to swimwear. This is equally useful for designers who are used to working by developing new styles from established blocks, as a surprising number know how to adapt by a combination of fitting on the body, and trial and error – but without first understanding these principles. Being able to understand and apply these basic rules should help to aid in the creation of more successful patterns, whilst also beginning to create an ability to identify and correct pattern cutting problems faster.

NEGATIVE EASE

A key way in which stretch patterns
are different from non-stretch, is that whereas with non-stretch you would add ease (i.e. essentially volume), known in this case as positive ease, into a pattern – for example on sleeve heads and the elbows of a twopiece tailored sleeve, with stretch patterns you are taking out ease.This is sometimes referred to as negative ease.

SWIMWEAR FABRIC PROPERTIES

Using a grid marked onto the fabric to cut the swimwear from…

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SWIMWEAR: GENERAL INTRODUCTION

by David Morris

SWIMWEAR FABRIC PROPERTIES

Most swimwear fabrics are circular knitted on a circular frame knitting machine prior to being cut into flat lengths. An important way of identifying different qualities of swimwear fabric is by weight per sqr mtr.

As a cursory guide it is usual* (*= based on a 180g/m2 two-way 75% stretch Nylon/ Lycra swimwear fabric) for high-fashion swimwear garments to have 2-5% vertical and 12-15% horizontal ease.

The majority of commercial swimwear is currently made from an approx. 80% Nylon (i.e. Polyamide) /20% Elastane (also known by trade-name Lycra and as Spandex in the US) blend, two-way stretch warp knit. A one way stretch fabric may also be used. The fabric used for swimwear should have a maximum stretch of 50-100% in at least one direction.

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RETAIL PREDICTION FOR 2017 “Retailing on Life-Support”

by Terri Fischer

“Predictions” can be good! They can be fun, they can be positive. They can also be a risky game. You can try to predict the stock market, your football pool winners, the trifecta in a horse race. Predictions carry risk. What are you willing to lose if you are wrong? What is the reward for being right?

As a retail consultant I study retail every single day. I have some predictions of my own, exclusively for The Intimate Apparel Journal’s subscribers, students, and clients. In some cases we will hope I am right, in others we will hope I am wrong. You decide! It looks like 2017 will be a continuation, at best, of a difficult 2016 year for many retailers.

While a majority of retailers have rolled out cost-cutting measures to keep their stores afloat, bankruptcies and closings have dominated the headlines this past year.
This month the Intimate Apparel Journal’s retail division will delve into the winners and losers and attempt to answer the questions of WHY they are in the predicaments they are in. We will examine the following:

1. The catastrophic failure of Sears/Kmart
2. The meltdown of department stores
3. The end of MALLS as we know them
4. The death of THE iconic specialty retailer of the 1980s and 90s: The Limited
5. The possibilities within specialty retailing
6. The continued success of the off-pricers…

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TRADE PACT: ASPECTS OF THE DIFFERENT FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS (PART 1)

by Andrew Sia

Introduction – A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is signed by nations to incorporate a trade bloc to lower barriers in order to increase the trade of goods and services. It also allows people to move freely between countries, creating “open borders.” The eventual goal is economic integration.

To meet the tariffs agreed upon, the member countries have to use a certification system to prove the rules of origin such as the minimum extent of local material input and the local producers that composed the goods.

Prior to this we had a quota system and import tariffs to control the importation of goods, textiles and apparel. The Multi Fiber Arrangement (MFA) was in place from 1974 through 2004, imposing quotas on the quantity of exports from developing countries to developed countries.

According to a World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, the MFA cost developing countries 27 million manufacturing jobs and $40 billion a year in export revenue. The World Trade Organization obtained jurisdiction from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and a gradual phasing out of the quotas took place. This process was completed in January 2005.

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However, tariffs remained in place for many textile products until the free trade agreements were introduced in different parts of the world.

Below are the free trade agreements in place. For this October 2016 issue we will only focus on NAFTA, DR-CAFTA and FTAA.

  • North American Free Trade Agreement – NAFTA
  • Central American Free Trade Agreement – DR-CAFTA
  • Free Trade Area of the Americas – FTAA
  • Association of South East Asian Nations – ASEAN
  • Trans Pacific Partnership – TPP
  • Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership – TTIP
  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – RCEP • African Growth & Opportunity Act – AGOA
  • Tripartite Free Trade Area – TFTA…

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Technical Bra Fitting

by David Morris

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Comment

Last summer IATechnical decided that we would start using video clips in the magazine and that gradually the entire content would become on-line tutorials.

Its been a steep learning curve but we thought we would present a small sample video in this article onTechnical Bra Fitting

The purpose of this training was to give some technical bra tting experience to a trainee Garment Technologist.

The Garment technologist was rst asked to describe the wired sports bra.

  1. How would it be described by a technician?
  2. The style?
  3. The customer pro le?
  4. The fabrics?
  5. The elastics?
  6. The components?
  7. The shape of the underband?
  8. The way its made?
  9. The measurement of the band?
  10. The measurements of the cup?
  11. Any USP?

How to Measure

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THE NEW FRONTIER OF INTIMATE APPAREL: THE SPORTS BRA, PART 3

Athleisure is worn everywhere, from the cities to the suburbs. There are so many brands with collections of sports bras they sell along with sports pants, tops, sports jackets and windbreakers for the cooler weather.

Consumers are totally at a loss when it comes to choosing the right ones, especially those who want to stay away from the mainstream by avoiding established sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, Puma and the like. The alternatives are Lululemon Athletica, Under Armour, Fabletics, Athleta, and from Victoria’s Secret, there are VSX and Pink, and many others.

The more exotic brands are those that are less well-known, brands we discussed in our previous issues.

The editor suggested we continue to focus on sports bras for part 3 in our series. We went online and found the five brands we’ll discuss in this report.

We bought all five bras and had them delivered to us. Our decisions were based on information from the brands websites and we carefully made our final selections from a total of nine styles. Immediately we found the fit and the hand feel to be lacking. Despite being able to return the items we carried on with our wear-test in order to complete this report.

Out of the five bras selected, two were produced in the U.S. “Bring production back” has also been a slogan used in the current presidential campaign. But because of
the complexity of sports bra construction, sometimes production can be faulty. This could mean damaging the brand’s image, especially for newcomers to this industry.

I would suspect many garment manufacturers on the West Coast could have attempted to produce sports bras without having the right sewing equipment and the proper technique, but perhaps we shouldn’t be so gung-ho when we are treading into unfamiliar territory.

With this article we’ve provided the background on the five brands selected, but they are not conventional brands and so we have very limited knowledge about them.

We attempted to review them from different angles to allow you to get an understanding of their business model, not exactly easy in the market and there are already too many players on the scene.

About Koral – Ilana Kugel infused her Brazilian native roots into activewear and quickly partnered with Peter Koral’s industrial experience to launch this collection.

Kugel looked to the California lifestyle, one that embraces a healthy, active way of life that shows in her line of activewear. With swimwear design and construction, it flows effortlessly from workout wear to garments for a night out, and everything in between.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-7-35-35-pmKoral carries all the activewear pieces as well as outerwear and pays attention to the technology for the fabrics used across the collection. These become their signature fabrics, such as EternalTM, EvanesceTM and InfinityTM.

The fabrics have many properties: anti-pilling, chlorine resistant, compression, easy care, color absolute, moisture wicking, odor controlling, quick drying, H2O, wrinkle- free and UV protection.

Featured bra from Koral – Emblem Versatility Bra

Workout with Emblem Versatility Bra featuring two of the best performance fabrications. Offered in the signature fabric, EvanesceTM, for support, durability and compression.

This bra gives full coverage allowing it to be worn both indoor and outdoor. The contrast details with the two fabrics and the use of the logo elastic at the hem made the style attractive…

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