EYE ON APPAREL
UNTING ENTHUSIASTS WHO MARK their calendars by whatever game is in season aren’t
the only people who cover themselves in camouflage these days. With the increasingly popular
outdoor lifestyle pattern celebrated by TV shows like
and big retailers like Cabela’s,
Bass Pro Shops and Academy, there’s no stopping the camo from flying off the racks and
shelves, especially in the middle of the country and in rural areas. But city-slicking fash-
ionistas also rocked a lot of camo during last year’s fashion month, and pop stars like
Rihanna and Pharrell are no strangers to the leafy, brown and green patterns.
It’s official: Americans are crazy for camo, and the rugged activities
associated with it.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting
and Wildlife-Associated Recreation (its most recent) reports that in 2011, 13.7
million people aged 16 or older—about six percent of the U.S. population—
hunted and spent $38.3 billion on equipment, licenses, trips and other hunting-
related items. That’s a 30-percent increase in hunting spending since 2006,
when the previous survey was published.
“Even in today’s urbanized America, hunting continues to be a vital
part of our culture. Hunter spending is the lifeblood of countless small
businesses in rural communities nationwide, and hunters make up the
main source of wildlife conservation funding through their purchases
of licenses, firearms and ammunition,” says Chris Dolnack, National
Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president and chief mar-
keting officer, in the organization’s 2013 publication
. And the publication reveals that U.S. hunters outnum-
ber the populations of 46 states. Only Florida, New York, Texas
and California have more residents than the combined popu-
lation of U.S. hunters. That’s a lot of camo enthusiasts—with
kids and spouses to outfit as well.
Promotional apparel has taken the hint from camo’s
retail surge and suppliers have expanded camo offerings in
everything from workout wear to college gear to baby
accessories. If you haven’t yet recommended camo
clothing choices to your clients, now’s the time.
JULIE RICHIE IS ASSOCIATE EDITOR FOR
THERE’S NO HIDING THIS POPULAR PATTERN’S HOLD ON THE FASHION WORLD
BY JULIE RICHIE
• JANUARY 2016