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Buyer Alert: Neoprene Theme

When it’s deliver-or-die, supply chains become the lifeblood of a company. To that end, the fashion industry has embraced technology to navigate today’s hyper-complicated supply chain, with myriad solutions shaping the first, middle and last mile. Call it Sourcing 2.0.

Evolving last year’s high-fashion theme for scuba-inspired wovens and knits, more urbane surface textures and patterns elevate the trend within ready-to-wear by limiting strait up activewear connotations. While the first round of fashion “neoprenes” did not veer far from actual wetsuit looks with spongy hands, new foamy synthetics are incorporating elegant embossing, bonding and finishing techniques that elicit more traditional textile ideas. Classic tones of navy blue, black, camel and grey enhance this sartorial take.

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While rubbery suppleness remains central to the theme, it’s the molded shapely drape these materials impart that remains the key driver. For 2015, geometric quilting, ribbed constructions and jacquard-like embossing support fine outerwear and separates for women. Foamed leathers, non-wovens, metallic fiber additions, openwork or perforated materials, stretch qualities and prints offer fresh direction. Matte surfaces are most marketable, although wet leathery looks have editorial appeal. Either through bonding or fabric construction, double-faced styles juxtapose techy sides with natural wool, cotton or cashmere faces–perfect for unlined transeasonal jackets. Fleece or jersey neoprene hybrids continue in sweatshirts for both men and women.

Ovadia & Sons Neoprene Nelson Jacket

Image courtesy of OVADIA & SONS

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