2015 May Be the Year to Try Out New Fashion Brands

If you have been paying attention to the US national spending trends on clothing since 2011 you will notice that there has been some interesting changes in how the US, along with the rest of the world, shops for clothing. According to the US Department of Labor Statistics the Average Annual expenditures on Apparel shopping had been declining steadily since the 2011 annual average of $1,740 to a low point in 2013 annual average of $1,604, but in mid-2014 US apparel spending bounced back to annual average of $1,706 and is expected to continue to increase. During those same years a rebound trend was noticed in US made clothing which resulted in a 6.2% increase in sales.

Along with that The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan announced in January/2015, “apparel and footwear contributed a record $361 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013, a bigger contribution than new cars, alcohol, toys, or practically any other industry.”

So what does all this mean exactly? Are we spending less but now have more clothes? Is the American clothing manufacturing industry back on top? Well not really, even with the record breaking increase 97% of all apparel sold in the US is still imported. What it does mean is that consumers are out there spending again and are buying more products. The recession mixed things up in all industries and as we continue to bounce back from it, more and more fashion trends get moved around in the mix. A new economy brings in new opportunities for new ideas, new brands and new designs to enter the picture.

But was this shifting in the fashion industry by accident or by design? Interestingly enough in early June/2015 during an agricultural forum held by the World Trade Organization the US accused China for the surging polyester content of wardrobes the world over as they claimed China has been stockpiling huge amounts of cotton for years which has led to “an increase in the use of polyester to the detriment of all cotton-producing countries.”

Other accusations said were that China is paying out huge subsidies to its cotton sector, about $5.1 billion in the 2013-2014 growing season. Between these outlays and its stockpiling, China is causing cotton prices to plunge on the international market altogether.

But is that the only reason prices have fallen? Maybe not, as China also cut back on its cotton imports which left much more cotton for the rest of the world to purchase and they also improved their polyester’s quality over the years thanks to declining oil prices, which would make polyester cheaper as China exports massive amounts of.

So what does this mean for the consumer? Well regardless of the country relations there is one thing that is evident, as clothing materials have gotten cheaper the quality for lesser known brands have gotten better. This has opened up the door for other international countries to sell their products to world consumers, such as the small up trend of the South American ‘Butt-lift’ jeans, which have found a market in Canada, Australia and certain parts of the US.

Another trend that has been seen is lesser known brands have benefitted from this quality increase which allows them to openly compete with bigger brands. Smaller brands also experienced a large growth in Google searches between mid-2014 and mid-2015 like; Cello Jeans (68% average search increase in 12 months), GJG Denim (31% average search increase in 12 months), Flying Monkey Jeans (86% average search increase in 12 months) and Silver Diva Jeans (24% average search increase in 12 months).

So what are you waiting for? Try a new bold or fierce brand today and open up your wardrobe to the new Fashion possibilities as 2015 promises to be the year of fashion trend changes.

GHD – Is it a Billion Dollar Global Fashion Brand?

The rise and rise of GHD is becoming an ever more impressive story. Despite being ultimately a one-product company (the iconic ghd hair straightener, albeit it in various sizes and colours), and despite (or perhaps because of) being headquartered in deeply unfashionable Silsdon in Yorkshire, UK, GHD seems to get as many mentions in the fashion press as a certain Mrs Beckham.

Monique Lhullier, Miss Sixty and many others featured GHD as their haircare partner at their recent Fashion Week shows, with wavy, sea-inspired styles that showed off the versatility of the ghd iv styler.

Perhaps even more importantly the GHD marketing and PR machine that was so effective in dominating the UK market for GHD, is now fully up and running on a global basis with the famous pink GHD promotion now appearing across the globe (with a global network of breast cancer charities benefiting). Other campaigns like the GHD Pure / GHD Dark promotion also enjoyed global promotion

further example of how GHD is becoming a genuine international fashion brand is the unwelcome arrival of large-scale counterfeiting of GHD products. Indeed, major UK-based discount beauty and cosmetics chain, Superdrug, recently admitted supplying its customers with counterfeit GHD hair straighteners, albeit unintentionally [Source: BBC News Website, Friday, 19 September 2008]. This would suggest that GHD counterfeiting is now highly organised and very professional (as it is with designer perfumes and luxury fashion accessories). Of course, no-one at GHD will be happy with fake GHD products being sold, but it does bracket the company in some pretty exclusive company (Gucci, Prada, and the like).

It would appear that GHD have realised from the start that building a fashion brand is not exclusively about sales figures. Turnover, although important, must be conducive to brand building. For that reason, GHD have a famous reputation for refusing to supply to high street names – culminating in rejecting likes of Boots when GHD themselves were only a few years old. Although this policy has been relaxed slightly in recent years (with Boots and Amazon starting to sell directly supplied GHD hair straighteners in the last 12 months), it helped create the exclusivity and allure that any brand needs if it is to become a significant asset in its own right.

Which brings us to the issue of how much GHD might ultimately be worth. When the most recent management buy-out took place last year (just before the global credit markets seized up), the valuation was around $288 million ($160m). One of the reasons given for injecting capital a that stage into the business was to help it strike out around the globe to boost its presence and revenues from the US, Europe and Australasia. Achieving this, particularly in the US, where it was previously an underground cult brand, will certainly see the valuation of the GHD brand soar.

Of course, now isn’t the time to get carried away with valuing privately-held companies, but once the markets have returned to normality in 2010 or thereabouts, and provided that GHD has managed to continue to build its presence globally, then there is no reason why the people of Yorkshire won’t be celebrating the presence of a billion dollar fashion brand just up t’road.

Fashionable Brands of Menswear That Create The Best Impression

Making a good impression is the best thing you can do, whether it is for meeting new clients or while clinching deals. The world offers only very few items by which you can inspire confidence and impress people, and one of them is high quality menswear.

It is vital to have excellent quality fashionable menswear. Successful men are quite aware of the importance of wearing quality threads. There is however, the time constraint to be considered, because of the need to visit a quality menswear store and a get tailor made collection of finest clothes.

A successful or aspiring business person or executive should look for the best menswear, but might not need the hassles in acquiring them. Luckily, the UK market offers three of the top brands that will satisfy this desire. These are Norse Projects, Engineered Garments, and Barbour.

Bring out the Bond in You with Barbour

In case you have doubts about Barbour being a famous brand, then you need not worry. Daniel Craig in the popular movie Skyfall featuring James Bond has worn a Sports Jacket – Beacon Heritage by Barbour. In the same movie, Albert Finney also wore Dunmoor Gilet, which also forms part of the Sporting collection of Barbour.

Craig looked quite fantastic as 007 in the Heritage jacket, so much so that it was sold out within a short time. However, do not despair, as December stock will soon be arriving in Barbour stores at Spitalfields, Carnaby Street, and Covent Garden.

Engineered Garments that are Functional

Another brand of clothing that is well known around the globe for high quality menswear is Engineered Garments. Their designers mainly focus on functionality, and are obsessed with producing the best-crafted apparel.

Military is the main inspiration for Engineered Garments, and it is not surprising that their garments apart from being functional are also quite durable. Engineered Garments take their inspiration form the regimental appearance and functionality of military clothing. Their products provide value for money due to the high quality of materials and workmanship.

Scandinavian Designs of High Style from Norse Project

Another option for men who demand the best is the Norse Project brand. The name itself implies a Scandinavian style; however, their range also combines the ultra-stylish design aesthetics of the Dutch.

Norse store products have a timeless style and are very functional. They are also unique, as they are inspired by Scandinavia, and all raw materials going into their production are sourced from around Europe.

Worthy Brands

Even though apparel from Norse Projects, Engineered Garments, and Barbour is not cheap, people who are conscious about quality do not mind investing in these fine collections, which have superior designs and workmanship.

Pay a visit to a Norse Projects, Engineered Garments, or Barbour Store nearest to you, and experience first-hand the superior quality of the menswear they have to offer.