Innovation in fabric and fibers has been on an upward cycle in recent years and it’s at the forefront of new product introductions from American Giant and a collaboration with Invista’s Lycra brand and hyper market chain Carrefour.
American Giant, the e-commerce specialist that made a name for itself with its high-quality sweatshirts and T-shirts made in the U.S., will introduce several new products on Tuesday, which the company said represents “real breakthroughs in our fabric and textiles evolution.”
The “Work Collection” features a men’s mechanic’s jacket selling for $228 in cargo green and raven black. This is American Giant’s first seriously structured jacket, made from durable water resistant (DWR) canvas, a new material for the brand.
The jacket includes a cotton lining, inset sleeve panel for mobility, side pockets, adjustable waist and metal zip closure. It’s inspired by rugged outdoor workwear and classic mechanic’s jackets of the 1930s.
Also in the Work Collection is a women’s utility shell selling for $198, also in cargo green and raven black. This is American Giant’s first truly structured jacket for women. Inspired by rugged outdoor workwear, the A-line silhouetted utility shell is also made from DWR canvas, and includes deep side pockets, back seam, internal piping and metal snaps. Both styles are manufactured in Oakland, California.
Also rolling out for fall is the three-piece “Stretch Collection” for women made with a tightly knit French terry that’s soft and strong with lots of stretch. It is cut boxy for a modern fit and comes in crew, pullover and full zip styles. Details include ribbed cuffs and hem, and a velvet interior trim.
The full zip sells for $84 and comes in super black, steel blue, pebble, spruce and dark cranberry. The stretch pullover sells for $79 and is available in super black, steel blue and dark cranberry. The stretch crew, at $69, is made in super black, steel blue, dark cranberry and spruce. The Stretch Collection is made in Los Angeles.
In addition, non-collection pieces being added for the season are a “Journeyman Sweater” selling for $89 and a “Ponte Jogger” at $89.
The men’s sweater is being made in super black and blue shadow colors in Nantucket Fleece, a specially patented fleece manufactured only in North Carolina. It is ribbed on the outside and soft on the inside. The textured exterior gives it a rugged look, but the classic crewneck silhouette makes it look polished.
The Journeyman Sweater is sewn like a classic crewneck sweater, but with extra-durable seams and a streamlined hem. It is manufactured in Middlesex, North Carolina.
The women’s jogger is the latest addition to the American Giant Ponte Collection inspired by classic streetwear and designed to move through a woman’s hectic lifestyle. It’s cut from the same custom-finished ponte black stretch fabric as the “Pant,” introduced last year, but features a channeled waistband, side pockets, ankle cuffs and “a little more room to move,” with a slight drop crotch and slim fit.
American Giant said the new products are indicators of the types of products and categories it is poised to delve into for 2018.
American Giant has two company-owned cut-and-sew facilities around Raleigh, North Carolina, that are supported by a Carolinas-based supply chain that primarily produce the brand’s sweatshirts and T-shirts for men and women.
“There is a higher cost structure here because you’re paying more for lots of good things–local labor, strong environmental laws,” said Bayard Winthrop, chief executive officer. “The other hurdle is a muscle memory built into the supply chain of worrying about cost and not quality, and we work just the opposite, we worry little about cost and worry obsessively about quality.”
[Read more about Made in America: Made in America is Back and Finding a New Path]
Meanwhile, stretch is certainly behind the new team up between Carrefour and Lycra.
Carrefour has selected Lycra Sport technology to add comfort and performance to its new line of TEX brand sport bras. TEX is the chain’s leading brand and it spans virtually every garment category. The goal of the TEX brand is to deliver high quality, stylish fashions at budget-friendly prices.
Carrefour selected fabrics made with this technology because it offered targeted support that can be customized to suit a wide range of sports and activities. Lycra Sport technology also offers exceptional freedom of movement, which is critical to optimizing an athlete’s performance.
The colorful and versatile TEX SPORT bra collection is designed to appeal to athletes and active consumers, as well as the growing number of athleisure enthusiasts. While this line is designed for sports, many consumers buy sport bras for leisurewear. Lycra research shows that 41 percent of consumers buy sport bras for non-sport use in the U.S.
Invista and Carrefour have joined forces to promote TEX brand’s new line of sport bras to consumers. Customized co-branded point-of-sale materials communicate the benefits of Lycra Sport technology in stores and in its apparel catalog. TEX sport bras are available exclusively in France.