The brand manager at Just Hoods by AWDis discusses the popularity of mustard and marl, the rise of polyester and the crossover between activewear and casual daywear in the student market

Gillian Wilson, brand manager at Just Hoods by AWDis

What are the key design trends in collegewear at the moment?

A classic stylish sweatshirt never goes out of fashion. Both plain, coloured and graphic styles are always popular. The JH030 AWDis Sweat, available in 41 great colours, along with the JH001 College Hoodie are perfect college all-rounders. You can pair them with almost everything, from denim skinnies to cargo pants, skirts or leggings to tie in with the current athleisure trend.

And what are the key colour and fabric trends?

Mustard is a key colour for this year. You can find this on-trend shade in our JH001 College Hoodie that is also available in 65 amazing colours. Marl fabrics are key this season: the JH017 Surf Hoodie is a popular choice and available in five pastel shades; the fabric has a melange ash-effect throughout the fabric.

Which fabrics do you expect to increase in popularity in collegewear over the next 12-24 months?

Sports polyester is becoming more popular for collegewear thanks to its versatility – it’s geared towards performance sportswear while still being on trend for casualwear. Our JH006 Sports Polyester Hoodie comes in 10 colours and is perfect for layering, taking students through the day from the gym to the classroom.

How much influence do you think the US collegewear market has on the UK collegewear market?

Thanks to social media, college trends are transatlantic and there is definitely a crossover. From just one search of a hashtag you gain inspiration from global trends on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. A combination of more social media exposure and an increasingly professional approach to merchandising here in the UK has seen college and athleisure products rise.

What do you think have been the most significant advances in collegewear recently, and where do you think there is scope for further development?

A crossover between activewear and casual daywear has definitely become more apparent. Students are always on the move so styles that are stylish yet provide all-day comfort are what people are interested in.

Polyester is an increasingly popular fabric for students, says Gillian, as seen in the Sports Polyester Hoodie

What do you think is the main factor that influences a customer when buying collegewear from a garment decorator?

Printability and ease of decoration is paramount for collegewear and college club teams needing personalised garments. In the same vein, a vast colour choice is always beneficial to make clients’ teams stand out. Fabric also plays a big part in the decision-making process as comfort is key as well as being trend- driven. Our core styles are made from soft, ringspun cotton, providing utmost comfort and a versatile printing surface.

What’s the best or most unusual decoration you’ve seen on a collegewear garment?

We’ve seen a lot from rhinestones to appliqué. Our garments are designed with a high level of printability in mind so there is certainly a lot of scope to include daring design work.

What’s the best piece of marketing and/or sales advice you can give to Images readers to help them sell more collegewear?

Be sure to highlight garment potential through trend-driven embroidery, colours and outfit building. Use assets provided to you by the supplier. They have created marketing collateral for your use and nobody knows the product better – be sure to tap into this source of knowledge to illustrate the garment’s potential to the end user.