NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (Sept. 22, 2020) — Long renowned for its industry-leading, innovative ornamentation techniques, AHEAD is introducing AEROflex specifically for use on performance headwear. The AEROflex technique allows AHEAD to produce custom silicone-like graphic pieces that bond to the hat without thread.
“With the new AEROflex technique, the logos are vibrant and really pop off the hat,” said Chuck Lord, Chief Creative Officer, AHEAD. “There are no set-up charges with AEROflex, and the technique allows for AHEAD to color coordinate them to every SKU on the order. We also are able to accommodate smaller minimum orders and provide quicker turnaround to help retailers react to ebbs and flows in business.”
Lord said this is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic as pro shops respond to varying levels of demand and may have a greater need than before with a quick turnaround on products.
“We have a track record for quick turnaround and during the pandemic we have made it a priority to become even more efficient,” Lord said. “When you combine these attributes with a huge variety of in-stock headwear styles and colors, plus unparalleled ornamentation, that gives us a real advantage in responding to customer need. AHEAD has always offered a variety of ornamentation techniques that fit into that plan, but AEROflex gives us something really unique for performance headwear.”
Alongside AEROflex comes the introduction of a new technical cap called The Match Play (M14LAY). This structured crown, solid colored cap is made of a lightweight, dimpled “jersey mesh” polyester fabric, and features a pre-curved visor. “Performance headwear is a key segment of the business. Coupling the techy AEROflex graphics with great looking new styles like this is a great way to boost sales,” Lord commented.
For the 2021 headwear line, AHEAD will also be introducing Americana, a new collection of caps that answers consumer demand for red, white and blue themes. Offerings include a mix of cotton and performance hats — one with small embroidered American flags, another with sublimation-printed navy stars, while yet another with a subtle stars-and-stripes woven accent near the wearer’s temple.
“Maybe it’s the fact we’re in an election year or perhaps because we’re all ‘in this together’ going through a pandemic, but the colors red, white and blue are blazing hot,” Lord said. With the Ryder Cup now scheduled for 2021 this trend will continue well into next year.”
AHEAD also is capitalizing on the early success of its Largo style hat, which was initially introduced at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show in January. The soft-crowned silhouette, medium-weight twill classic cap features a pre-curved visor and will now be available in dozens of colors. In addition to the golf market, Lord said the Largo cap caters to the resort market with a multitude of fresh new colors.