Zippers are no longer the overlooked things that close up a jackets or fly—they are getting just as smart as the apparel they serve.

Innovation in zippers for the coming Spring/Summer 2018 season was rampant at Intertextile Shanghai last week, and performance was the prime focus.

In keeping with the still growing athleisure trend and the slackening workplace wardrobe rules, zippers now do their own part to up the performance of a garment. And the biggest in the business, China’s SBS Zipper and Japan’s YKK are leading the charge.

At SBS Zipper, China’s biggest zipper manufacturer, pulls were designed not only to meet the performance of the goods they’re going into, but to avoid the “monotony” of standard zipper pulls.

Silica gel pulls that simulate rope ties, reflective rope in vivid neons for activewear and lanyard pull heads that can be used to attach things, were part of the offering. Other zippers were waterproof and made with waterproof film, and there were removable anti-theft pull heads where the zipper can lock. Some pulls snapped back into a buckle design to achieve the look of a hidden pull head without the hanging effect, and others were made of lace, using a different material weaving for a thin, transparent look.

Color also came into play with geometric print zipper tapes, indigo tape in keeping with high demand for denim and imitation jade pulls, channeling the trend toward natural stones that will be big for SS18.

Read more at Sourcing Journal.

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