“It’s ex­cit­ing to see men are be­com­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous. the big­gest fac­tor in the growth of menswear is the rise of on­line shop­ping”

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

their own shop­ping de­ci­sions and en­joy­ing the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence is the cat­a­lyst for growth,” says Joo Woo, di­vi­sional mer­chan­dise manager of menswear for the Lane Craw­ford group. “There was very lit­tle in­ter­est in men look­ing af­ter them­selves— from groom­ing to dress­ing and fit­ness—10 to 15 years ago. Now the men’s fash­ion in­dus­try is catch­ing up with women in un­der­stand­ing the im­por­tance of hav­ing a point of view in rep­re­sent­ing one­self.

“In China, more men are be­com­ing sen­si­tive to fash­ion trends, and ea­ger for more styles and self-ex­pres­sion. Men are dis­cov­er­ing their own sense of style. If your fa­ther was tran­si­tion­ing out of Mao suits and you’ve made your money or are in the process of do­ing that, and you’re en­tre­pre­neur­ial, you don’t want to wear tailor­ing. Or if you do, it’s go­ing to be made-to-mea­sure and you’re go­ing to have fun with it.”

More and more stores are plac­ing em­pha­sis on sug­gested to­tal looks, re­al­is­ing that men also like the idea of ex­per­i­ment­ing with dif­fer­ent ways of mix­ing and match­ing. Mr Porter, the menswear di­vi­sion of on­line re­tailer Net-a-porter, now counts Hong Kong as one of its top three mar­kets—a mea­sure of how se­ri­ously the city’s male res­i­dents treat clothes, with the cur­rent best-sell­ing brands listed as J Crew, Nike, Givenchy, Thom Browne and Lanvin. Male shop­pers also want to look good when they hit the hay: to date, the on­line re­tailer has sold more than 1,000 sets of designer jim-jams.

An­other on­line re­tailer, Matches Fash­ion, is cap­i­tal­is­ing on the in­ter­net-lean­ing shop­ping habits of men in Asia. Fash­ion­istas from Sin­ga­pore, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hong Kong are likely to be the first in line for sought-af­ter items from young, cut­ting-edge de­sign­ers such as Craig Green, a biker jacket from Saint Lau­rent or a cult sneaker from Y-3. Other favourites among dis­cern­ing shop­pers are niche brands such as Le­maire, Un­der­cover and Haider Ack­er­mann.

“It’s ex­cit­ing to see that men are be­com­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous,” says Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matches Fash­ion. “I’d say the big­gest fac­tor in the growth of menswear is the rise of on­line shop­ping. It’s given men much more ac­cess to luxury fash­ion and al­lows them to be braver. They can or­der pieces that they per­haps wouldn’t try on in­store and see how they look from the com­fort of their own home. Men are also in­creas­ingly turn­ing to our pri­vate shop­ping ser­vice— ei­ther on­line through our Mystylist team or by vis­it­ing our pri­vate townhouse when they come to Lon­don. They re­spond to that more per­sonal level of cus­tomer ser­vice—hav­ing some­one there to give style or fit ad­vice and to make sug­ges­tions. They’re also look­ing for con­ve­nience; they want to be able to find the prod­ucts that suit their life­style as eas­ily as pos­si­ble. We re­cently in­tro­duced ‘stu­dios’ on our site to help with this. Our col­lec­tions can be fil­tered to show cat­e­gories like wardrobe clas­sics, sports-luxe pieces or essen­tials, and we’ve seen a re­ally strong re­sponse.”

That newly be­spo­ken aes­thetic ob­ses­sion in menswear has been raised a notch with the re­cent re­lease of Se­cret Ser­vice film Kings­man. On­line etailer Mr Porter has col­lab­o­rated with the direc­tor, Matthew Vaughn, cos­tume designer, Ari­anne Phillips, and a dream team of Bri­tish her­itage brands to cre­ate a menswear la­bel that re­freshes the mod­ern gen­tle­men’s wardrobe. The re­sult is a 60-piece col­lec­tion that in­cludes suits, watches, ties, um­brel­las, brief­cases and more. The suit is a mod­ern gen­tle­men’s ar­mour, and Kings­man agents are its new knights.

From met­ro­sex­ual to style cava­liers, the menswear bat­tle­ground is one almighty tus­sle for supremacy. May the best-dressed win.

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