Team Insight

July / August 2019

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Page 25 of 59

Let's start with an easy one. What is driving the team headwear business in 2019 and into 2020? Kelly Richardson: Quality, fit and speed of delivery are the most important things for both teams and dealers. The team market wants a high-quality, customizable product — and they want it fast and will go where they get both. Chad Kennedy: In our business we are seeing speed-to-market as an increasing need. From a product standard, performance fabrics are still king, with a bigger emphasis on perforated fabrics for enhanced breathability and performance. Mike Hiskey: Customization. What are teams looking for in their caps in terms of looks, performance, technology? Kennedy: Performance has been and will continue to be the driving force for years to come. This has now evolved into perforation within performance fab- rics. A large percent of our baseball business is now done with perforation. The enhanced breathability and performance has really increased the functionality of performance fabrics. Hiskey: Performance is the key — fabrics with UV protection, breathability and moisture wicking continue to lead the charge in headwear. Richardson: New decoration applications such as our Poly Press and Silicon transfers are gaining momentum. They provide a very technical look with good detail and the colors are amazing. Lightweight performance fabrics are very popular. The consumer is always looking for easier ways to design and order their team caps, so an easy-to-use online product designer is very important to the dealer and consumer. What are the fashion trends in headwear? Hiskey: Lifestyle elements continue to work their way on to the field — high crown hats and flat visors are becoming more the norm. Kennedy: Again, it goes to perforation but also to a multitude of options in performance fabrics, whether that is in weight, breathability and/or UV protec- tion. This past year we also released our most technical performance fabric to date in our new Brrr self cooling fabric. Richardson: Today's headwear fashion is driven by the styles and edgy decora- tion treatments you're seeing at retail, such as patches, appliqués and transfers. And we're starting to see more of this look in the team market. 26 Team Insight ~ July/August 2019 HOT ON TOP The Team Insight Headwear Vendor Roundtable talks caps with three suppliers. By Michael Jacobsen APPAREL HEADWEAR At The Table Kelly Richardson, President, Richardson Cap Chad Kennedy, National Sales Manager, The Game Mike Hiskey, Creative Director, Pukka The Richardson Cap 2019-20 lineup.

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