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The Annie Fink Tailgater

Something Up Her Sleeve
Annie Fink Planning to School Retailers in Las Vegas
December 22, 2010

If you missed The Perfect Storm when it last aired on cable, don’t worry. There may be a replay at the Annie Fink Designs booth at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show this January. Three big trends converge in the company’s Spirit line of stylish, functional Annie Sleeves: 1) legitimate fashion in school colors 2) tailgating apparel and accessories 3) fingerless gloves.

Annie Sleeves come out of the yoga industry (think of them as leg warmers for the arms). Fink experienced a flash of inspiration while running her yoga studio in Minneapolis. The guy upstairs controlled the heat, and her clients needed something to keep their arms toasty without impeding their movement. Fast-forward a couple of years. Annie Sleeves are the talk of the yoga biz—and starting to show up on college campuses.

“We started small with a few schools,” says Fink. “We had great success with Kansas State and Michigan State. Our sleeves with the letter M started flying off the shelves here in Minnesota.”

A Spirit Sleeve

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show actually marks the first time Annie Fink Designs has set up at a trade event specifically targeting the college market. College sports retailers are always looking for the next big thing, so Fink should find an enthusiastic audience. The Spirit line of Annie Sleeves will be available in school colors, and can take a logo on the back of the hand or up the sleeve.

“The Spirit line is a truly new way of expressing team spirit,” she says. “There’s nothing else like this on the market. We know there is a great opportunity here—the industry is lacking in women’s apparel.”

The tailgating component of the show has Fink excited, too. Fingerless gloves date back to the Victorian era, but they have found new relevance among women who need their fingers free for eating, drinking, texting, picture-taking, showing off rings and fingernails, and other points of tailgating chakra.




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