Fashions evolve, and your glove designs should evolve, too.

Features and styling should reflect what’s happening in the market place.  Customers are influenced by what they see in other categories, and smart use of those trends can make a line feel more modern.

For instance, we first started seeing fingerless gloves as a fashion trend maybe 10-15 years ago. Today, it’s pretty mainstream. 

Now that plaid is hip again, why not make it a design detail  — if only for the lining of your sports gloves!?

The key is to notice trends early enough to get the customer’s attention, but not so early that it fails to catch on.

Then, figure out which product opportunities and trends might be exciting and relevant for YOUR customer, and drive demand.

Here are 6 ways to spot a trend … plus a few trends that we are keeping an eye on when developing your next glove line. 

(image credit: Oki-ni)

Glove Company Tips: 6 Ways To Identify Product Design Trends

If you are a brand manager or buyer for a retailer, you may have access to a forecasting service for color, or for spotting emerging streetwear style and other trends  — especially If you work for a larger company,

But if not, here are some trend-spotting methods you can use:

  • The place to start is with your own recent sales trends. Look at holiday sales results, analyze recent successes and failures.  What’s selling well?  Are new styles outselling old ones? Based on your knowledge of recent sales trends and competition, what’s missing in your glove line?

  • Especially for outdoor and snow sports brands, visit industry trade shows and talk to a wide range of outdoor component suppliers, like Primaloft® and Gore-Tex®.  See what trends they are responding to in the market, and led to functional materials and technical innovations like waterproof down.
  • Visit specialty retailers in trend-setting categories, to see what new materials and ideas are popping up at retail. For instance, visit a surf shop on the West Coast, or a bike shop, or snowsports retailer — or even a forward fashion retailer outside the mainstreem like Opening Ceremony.  Get inspiration for design and merchandising by seeing what new progressive brands are taking root on the trending edge.


  • Notice what we call “adjacencies”. In other words, look at trends in footwear, other apparel, accessory and even non-apparel categories like automotive.

    If you notice a new trend — wearable technology, for instance, or greater use of touchscreens — ask yourself “how can it apply to my category”?  Based on that, a line update incorporating touchscreen gloves might be in order!


  • Pay attention to lifestyle trends that may be impacting your brand or category. Walk (or follow online) trade shows like Capsule, that spotlights directional, independent designers, and progressive brands.  Keep up with a few influential fashion blogs, and trades like WWD and The Sourcing Journal.


  • Visit Google Trends and see what is being searched online. Ask how that might impact you accessories or apparel category.  

    For instance: Increasing interest in sustainability may translate to addition of non-leather, manmade product.  Interest in back country winter sports may mean new insulatiion or other innovative materials. Hipsters wearing plaid shirts might translate to a plaid patterned glove lining.

2015 New Glove Design Trends:  What Are You Seeing?

As a glove company that manufactures for our own line as private label gloves for others, we stay on top of trends that may be relevant to our customers in both the fashion and the technical sports glove categories. It’s important for buyers to pay attention to the trends affecting your categories too … it makes for a much richer collaboration.

What are you noticing?  What style and functional trends in other categories are you paying attention to? Leave a comment, we’d like to know what you are seeing!

And for a jumpstart of your next glove line, you might enjoy this free Product Planning Success Kit: