The menswear mar­ket is heat­ing up like never be­fore

Apparel Online - - World Wrap -

Men may uni­ver­sally be con­sid­ered the dom­i­nat­ing gen­der, but when it comes to shop­ping, women out­shine men by a huge mar­gin. Not only are women the big­gest cus­tomer seg­ment in ap­parel re­tail, but a ma­jor­ity of brands/re­tail­ers in­vest enor­mous amount of both time and money in un­der­stand­ing their pref­er­ences and as­pi­ra­tions. And though it may take years for gen­der equal­ity in re­tail to hap­pen…, the mo­men­tum in menswear has picked up. Among the most note­wor­thy trends in cat­e­gory re­tail, is the sur­gency of men’s fash­ion­wear with al­most all mar­ket an­a­lysts pre­dict­ing that the growth in menswear will out­pace that of women’s wear in the next few years. Though the menswear sec­tor ac­counts for only 27 per cent of the to­tal cloth­ing mar­ket, the un­der­cur­rent is strong, and ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­search firm ‘Euromon­i­tor’, the global menswear mar­ket will swell to £ 375 bil­lion by 2020, up from £ 335 bil­lion in 2015. On sim­i­lar lines, re­tail an­a­lyt­ics com­pany ‘Edited’ ex­pects menswear to grow at a faster rate than wom­enswear over the next three years, with net gains of 2.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent, re­spec­tively. In the UK mar­ket alone, menswear is pre­dicted to grow by 0.7 per cent, whereas wom­enswear is pre­dicted to in­crease by 0.2 per cent.

So, what has changed…? Well for one, the at­ti­tude of men to­wards fash­ion has un­der­gone a rev­o­lu­tion. The pe­riod be­tween the Vic­to­rian era and the in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion was high on men’s fash­ion. Who can for­get the frilled shirts, fancy waist coats, tall hats and the fit­ted trousers that we see in pe­riod movies, like Pride and Prej­u­dice and Ti­tanic. With in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, cloth­ing be­came a com­mod­ity and men turned to more prac­ti­cal cloth­ing and work­wear. Of course, fash­ion did ex­ist, but the per­cent­age of men re­ally in­ter­ested dwin­dled.

Not sur­pris­ingly, fash­ion shows were con­ceived for women and it is as late as 2012 that Lon­don an­nounced that it would ded­i­cate an en­tire week­end to menswear fash­ion de­sign­ers, adding a thrust to menswear fash­ion, be­yond the cus­tom­ary shirts and pants. Slowly, brands are re­al­is­ing that men are also in­di­vid­ual shop­pers and not just hus­bands, boyfriends, sons and broth­ers of shop­pers. They have also ap­pre­ci­ated that men ac­tu­ally en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of shop­ping. Sev­eral top-line brands such as Ralph Lau­ren, Dolce & Gab­bana, Gucci and Her­mès have aug­mented their menswear stores with ameni­ties like bar­ber­shops, cof­fee bars, whisky bars and even full-blown restau­rants with mem­ber’s club vibes that makes male clients feel happy spend­ing time and money there.

The seg­ment within menswear, which is grow­ing the fastest, is ca­sual and streetwear. This move­ment is a re­flec­tion of the trend of dress­ing­down in cor­po­rate wear, where pro­fes­sion­als are now look­ing at clothes that do not nec­es­sar­ily fall within the age-old def­i­ni­tion of pro­fes­sional wear. To meet in­creas­ing de­mand, price points across most ap­parel items have risen sig­nif­i­cantly in the last five years, but par­tic­u­larly among prod­ucts like bomber jack­ets and sneak­ers. (The av­er­age price of a lux­ury menswear item is US $ 232.29 across all cat­e­gories, an uptick of 64 per cent over the past five years, the edited data shows.)

The re­tail­ers/brands lead­ing the menswear rev­o­lu­tion in­clude

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