Polartec: A Textile Success Story That Sets Company Up for a Sale

Retirement didn’t really agree with Gary Smith — and that’s been the major game-changer for Polartec.
Under the direction of Smith, chief executive officer of the Andover, Mass.-based fabric producer, Polartec went from the verge of liquidation to a profitable business that provides active and outdoor brands — and now luxury fashion labels — with a variety of performance fabrics. Its most recent innovation is Power Air, a fabric that cuts down on shedding in synthetic fleece that hit the market this winter exclusively in Adidas products and has started rolling out to other brands.
As a result of the turnaround, Polartec’s private equity owners have “begun an active process to sell the company,” Smith said. While nothing is imminent, having private equity investors makes it inevitable a sale will happen. “It took a long time to turn this thing around,” the ceo admitted.
But Polartec’s about-face almost didn’t happen.
Smith was the president of Timberland’s Outdoor Group and senior vice president of its supply chain. He exited Timberland shortly before it was sold to VF Corp. After a career that included being a partner in McKinsey & Co., he thought it would be an ideal time to ditch the corporate world and engage

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London’s Fashion and Textile Museum Spotlights Mary Quant and Terence Conran

LONDON — Mary Quant and Terence Conran are at the center of the new exhibition “Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution” that runs until June 2 at the Fashion and Textile Museum.
The exhibition focuses on the cultural and fashion icon Quant, known for her bob hairstyle and mod fashions, and her close friend and collaborator, designer, restaurateur and retailer Conran. Their works are displayed together in lifestyle settings such as a living room and a shop.
The exhibition also presents textiles, fashion, design and the art of the Chelsea Set, a group of revolutionary young designers, artists, photographers, musicians, fashion models and intellectuals, whose activities centered around Kings Road in Chelsea from 1952 to 1977.
Dennis Nothdruft, head of exhibitions at the museum and curator of this exhibition, said during the press tour that the exhibition is meant to celebrate the achievements of Quant, Conran and many others who, through commercial success, brought clothes, furniture — and a modern lifestyle — into people’s lives in post-war Britain.
Displays include pieces from Quant’s legendary shop Bazaar, to a few daring fashion pieces done in PVC from the Alligator by Mary Quant line to the Banana Split minidress. They are displayed among furniture, ceramics, lighting, homeware and

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Stora Enso Joins H&M, Ikea to Ramp Up Sustainable Textile Project

PARIS — Ramping up a push for sustainable fabrics, Hennes & Mauritz and Inter Ikea Group have brought in a new industrial partner to scale up production of new wood-based textile fibers.
Store Enso, a traditional wood and paper company that has shifted to the business of renewable materials, joined the H&M and Ikea-owned venture, called TreeToTextile AB, according to a joint statement from the companies.
Fast-fashion companies are scrambling to find new materials to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses while keeping prices low for consumers.
“The new fiber that we have developed is both sustainable and produced at a lower cost,” said Annica Karlsson, chairman of the board of TreeToTextile.
The venture will be owned equally by the three companies as well as Lars Stigsson, a long-time executive in the field of renewable forest products.
TreeToTextile has tested a process to turn forest products into textile fibers and plans to scale up the project at a Stora Enso plant for use by H&M and Ikea.
“It will be exciting to participate in the industrialization of this technology at one of our facilities to meet growing demand,” said Markus Mannström, an executive who heads Stora Enso’s biomaterials division. The company dissolves pulp for textiles from

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Nike’s New 3D-Printed Textile, Flyprint Will Make Their Running Shoes Even Lighter

Nike Flyprint 3

Source: Nike / Nike

Nike is best known for innovations in their sneakers that aim to help athletes reach their peak performance levels. The sportswear giant revealed Flyprint, the next tier of their 3D-printing method that promises to make their running shoes even lighter.

This is some next level ish right here.

Flyprint is Nike’s new and first  3D-printed upper for their performance sneakers. What makes this new material even more special is the fact it utilizes athletes performance data to determine the exact composition of the textiles. This will allow Nike to create a high-performance shoe that is fully customizable based on the specifications of the runner and the region they are running in.

Nike Flyprint 4

Source: Nike / Nike

The first sneaker that will introduce the use of Flyprint is the Zoom Vaporfly Elite and it will be worn by runner Eliud Kipchoge when he competes in the London Marathon on April 22nd. The sneaker will be 0.38oz lighter on top of being resistant to water absorption that can hamper down a runner.

Nike Flyprint 1

Source: Nike / Nike

Now if you’re wondering when you can pick up a pair of the sneakers, Nike will be selling a limited run of the sneakers. But there is a catch though, you will have to be in London where you can purchase the sneakers on their SNKRS app. We are already anticipating the international struggle that will take place trying to land a pair of these bad boys.

There is no doubt Flyprint will take Nike’s kicks to another level we are looking forward to seeing how they will incorporate it into their other sneaker models as well. We can already see LeBron utilizing it in the next model of his signature shoe, hell why not drop a model of the already popular Lebron 15.

To learn more about the Flyprint head over to Nike.

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Photo: Nike

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art Celebrates 600 Years of Textile Patterns

met todd oldham art

The idea of textile patterns of the Renaissance may not get your blood boiling, but there’s no denying that the current exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620,” is a visual feast. Staged throughout the museum’s circular Robert Lehman wing, the show starts off with 16th-century prints and fabrics and ends triumphantly on sparkling Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and Todd Oldham pieces from the 20th century, proving that pattern has been a great unifier across places, genres, and centuries of fashion.

On Friday evening, Oldham was on hand to discuss his own love affair with archival patterns and fabrics with curator Femke Speelberg and a group of guests. “The DNA between them all is so obvious, even in the dress that I made, in proximity to this exquisite Russian apron from the 1800s,” he said, motioning to a glittering minidress of his design from the ’90s paired with traditional Russian garb from a century earlier. “When you look at those two pieces together, the Russian dress from the 1800s looks like it could be the contemporary dress, and my dress looks much, much older, but they do look very closely in the way we bifurcated the upper parts of the dress and where we set motifs or volumes. They’re practically identical.” The same could be said for a traditional Nordic Fair Isle sweater, which was paired with a ’70s iteration from Yves Saint Laurent, but could also stand against the cropped versions shown in Raf Simons’s final Dior collection this October.

The proliferation of cross-cultural borrowing of pattern and print is nothing too new, Speelberg’s exhibition points out. Thanks to the discovery of the printing press in the 15th century, textile pattern books became popular fodder by the 1530s, allowing ideas to be carried from Italy to France to the Germanic Northern states throughout the Renaissance. The Renaissance printing boom was essentially the Instagram of its day, bringing new imagery into homes far and wide and inspiring a new generation of textile designers. The only thing to remember at the Met exhibit: Don’t double-tap the art.

Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620” is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 10, 2016.

The post The Metropolitan Museum of Art Celebrates 600 Years of Textile Patterns appeared first on Vogue.

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London’s Fashion and Textile Museum Celebrates Liberty’s 140th Anniversary With the Exhibition “Liberty in Fashion”

liberty of london

Rewind to London, 1875. The style of the moment favored bright aniline-dyed gowns whose rigidity required mechanical nips and tucks through corsetry. But then, as now, trends change, and eventually the fashion pendulum swung back the other way. Among those who welcomed the change were the Aesthetes, an alternative set of 19th-century Londoners who valued art for art’s sake. Fixtures of the movement included Oscar Wilde, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and the Pre-Raphaelites, with London-based Liberty at the forefront of Aesthetic dress.

While Liberty is an apt name for a label whose followers were thought to be liberated from the cult of fashion, it also happened to be the surname of Arthur Lasenby Liberty, who founded the company in 1875. Subscribing to Arts and Crafts principles, Liberty designs flouted tight lacing and the trickery of naturalistic patterns in favor of free-flowing gowns and textiles printed in flat patterns and rendered in two-dimensional repeats. The brand became famous for Japonisme-inspired prints of peacock feathers and sunflowers in muted colors borrowed from nature.

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the storied house, which has kept up with the times via ties to fashion designers including Paul Poiret, Mary Quant, Jean Muir, Yves Saint Laurent, and Vivienne Westwood. Beloved today for its ditzy floral prints, the quintessentially British brand is the subject of the exhibition “Liberty in Fashion,” opening this weekend at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum.

Above, we celebrate 140 years of the label with a look back at Liberty’s best and brightest moments in Vogue.

The post London’s Fashion and Textile Museum Celebrates Liberty’s 140th Anniversary With the Exhibition “Liberty in Fashion” appeared first on Vogue.

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Asos Collaborates With Textile Federation Brand

GLOBAL TIE-IN: Asos has teamed with the print-driven lifestyle brand Textile Federation on an exclusive women’s wear collection set to launch on June 8.
The 11-piece Asos Talent High Summer Collection is the result of a global design competition, organized by the online retailer and aimed at discovering emerging design talent. This is the fourth year of the collaboration.
The four winners were Odette Steele from London College of Fashion; Chloe Baird from Glasgow Clyde College; Ezoe Robinson from Central Saint Martins, and Santiago Garimo from Venezuela’s University of Zulia.
The design students were given a brief to create looks based on their interpretation of the theme Chinese Whispers.
Textile Federation’s founder Simon Morgan said: “With a strong showing from the London and the U.K. universities, as well as some as far afield as Venezuela, this collaboration has shown the truly global nature of fashion and design, and its power to cross borders and cultures.”
The collection features ideas ranging from minimalist digital imaginings to hand-illustrated creations and comprises dresses, jumpsuits, T-shirts as well as shorts.
Sold exclusively on Asos, prices range from 28 pounds, or $ 42.80 at current exchange, for a crop T-shirt to 50 pounds, or $ 76.50, for a printed jumpsuit.

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