Beechfield’s product manager discusses the appeal of the trucker cap and the increasing use of decoration techniques such as distressing, hand-painting, tie-dying and paint splats

What are the key design trends in wearable accessories at the moment?
There are many trends throughout wearable accessories, which are growing at different rates as consumer behaviour continues to evolve, challenging brands at every turn with no one-size-fits-all formula. However, the athleisure trend has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and is set to continue throughout 2019, developing into off shoot trends such as streetwear.

The trucker style is set to continue growing. The style is utilised across the athleisure and streetwear trends, but also transcends so many other markets, back to its original roots as a true promotional product.

And what about colour and fabric trends?
There is increasing interest in more technical fabrics and accents, such as welded zips and knitted fabrics, which has been influenced by sneakers. This can be seen in our Lux Knit Stretch-Fit (B197), Spacer Marl Stretch-Fit (B676) and Air Mesh (B196) caps.

How much influence is the retail market having on wearable accessories?
Retail has much more of an influence on our industry than it ever has before. As the re-branders market continues to grow, they want accessibility to the latest retail designs to add to their product offering. This means that we need to have these designs available and in the correct palettes for the season. Retail influence can be seen in the more form-fitted shapes and fabrics in the Urbanwear Trucker (B646) and Urbanwear 6 Panel Cap (B651).

What have been the most significant advances in wearable accessories recently, and do you think there is scope for further development?
There is always scope for further development: progression is key to keeping the industry fresh and moving forward. The most significant advances are in the availability of higher grade and more technical fabric options. This can be seen in Beechfield‘s Softshell Sports Tech Gloves (B310) with the ergonomic fi t and touchscreen palm print, and also in the Camo Cuff ed Beanie (B419), where the advances are shown in the stretch and return of the beanie, something which is not often seen with a fully jacquard-knitted crown. Keep an eye out for more progressive fabrics arriving for the 2019 season!

Truckers, such as the Beechfield Urbanwear Trucker shown here, will be a key style in 2019, says Matt

What will be the standout wearable accessory style of 2019?
Truckers will be a key style for 2019, with continual growth from this year’s summer season. Transcending so many market areas, they have a large area for all types of branding and decoration. The branding area offers a great billboard-like opportunity to advertise any logo or message, perfect for rebranders, decorators and sports clubs alike.

What are the main decoration types currently seen on wearable accessories?
Embroidery and printing are still the main types of decoration and I think will continue to be the main bulk of decoration method for years to come. However, people are getting more comfortable with trying new methods and techniques in order to keep ahead of the competition and achieve the higher expectations of the market. Customising has been a big part of this summer’s retail trends, such as distressing, hand-painting, tie-dyeing effects, paint splats and even the addition of custom tapings. See our distressing video here:

What‘s the best or most unusual decoration you‘ve seen on a wearable accessory?
Multi-faceted decoration – embroidery with hand-painting, distressing and diamantes.

What‘s the single best piece of marketing and/or sales advice you can give to Images readers to help them sell more of your wearable accessories to their customers?
Aligning yourself with your customers is key. The use of social marketing is still going from strength to strength, with the recent introductions of IGTV, Snapchat, in-house influencers, and even influential meme accounts being utilised for growth of meaningful interactions.

Influencer marketing is now a proven brand accelerator and only set to grow. A concentrated effort into all aspects of social tools and interaction to decide what is best for you and your business should only ever help you understand more of what your customers want and ultimately help you align.