fashion

Menswear slowly picking up pace

For a very long time menswear had taken a backseat, and the fashion world’s obsession with women’s wear had much to do with it. But over the years things have changed and men have grown to be more metrosexual, and have with time generated interest in looking dapper and stylish. Designers and brands have also shown curiosity towards modifying this much neglected market segment.

According to certain reports and insights the category of menswear has outpaced womenswear for the past five years now. Agreeing to a recent research study done by MarketLine, the global menswear market is expected to exceed $ 402 billion in the year 2014. The Americas is said to represent approximately 35 percent of the international menswear market. The global market is expected to grow over 14 percent during a five year period. Within the menswear industry the most popular segment comprise of the clothing and footwear.

Today the menswear market has an array of different categories like active wear, casual wear, outerwear, formalwear, and essentials. The rise of new age work environments and tech industries are breaking free from the norm of adhering to the Monday to Friday work uniform and casual clothes on weekends . Huge influences of tailored outfits have been from television programs like Mad Men and Suits on the men’s fashion scene, and have compelled the not so fairer sex to indulge in vanity and give power dressing a hand.

The coming of age masculine men are starting to make personal grooming and fashion a priority, which was once considered to be feminine, and to an extent was unacceptable. But in the past 20 years these norms have changed and, historically, fashion being a female dominant industry, is soon transforming. Actors, musicians and athletes are also paying definite attention to fashion which is also driving the menswear category in a huge way.

Online shopping and internet has made it easy for many vanity conscious males to stay fashionable and trendy. With dedicated blogs and websites that concentrate on menswear alone have helped many take decisions and dress appropriately. Since male shoppers are averse to frequenting to malls or stores for buying clothes, e-commerce comes as a boon to them. According to a report from Mintel’s on consumer research as many as one third men shop online and hence there a lot of apparel retailers offering casualwear and even bespoke suiting and shirting facilities.

A rapid growth has also been witnessed in rigid markets like China, where men were once hesitant to spend money on clothing. One of the largest luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna reported revenue of $ 1.72 billion in 2012 and the major share came from China, followed by Europe, and Americas. Men have also developed soft corners for luxury clothing and fancy high end brands. The German fashion house Hugo Boss that specializes in menswear is expecting the sales for 2015 to gain 50 percent to 3 billion euros. The company Bain & Co, a consulting firm, predicts the global luxury menswear segment to grow at 14 percent every year. The luxury apparel retailer, Trinity Ltd., of high end menswear in China accounted to increase in sales by 19.5 percent and owns more than 400 stores in the country.

Leveraging on this are many other high end brands that have widened the range of their menswear offerings, introduced new product ranges, and now, even have dedicated menswear stores. In the recent times brands like Hermes, Prada, Lanvin, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and Dolce & Gabbana have started catering to the fashionable needs of men. Apart from China, the market for luxury menswear is also opening new avenues in places like Hong Kong, the Middle East, Macau, and popular cities of Europe and America, owing to the growing tourism from especially countries like Brazil, China, and Russia.

A greater demand and growth in men’s fashion has been seen in United Kingdom and the industry is believed to progress at an unpredictable speed. The menswear segment has grown by almost 5 percent between the years 2012 to 2013 in comparison to womenswear which grew by 4.6 percent. The report by Mintel’s also reveals that in UK the trend is driven by men aged between 25 to 35 years, which constitutes 94 percent of shoppers for menswear products. The fashion shows in London this year also witnessed brands like Moschino introduce a collection of menswear for the very first time in the country. The British men have become extremely aware of what they want to wear and when, hence the sales of menswear are exceeding, and have surpassed the sales of womenswear.

The demand for menswear is growing globally on account of young urban males who wish to marry and start families a little later in life and they being the ones really pushing this trend. They are essentially between their mid-twenties to early thirties and still live with their parents and do not have the burden of paying mortgages or running their homes. High street labels are soon entering the game and hope to leverage on this booming market segment that remained not so dynamic for a very long time.

Men are also believed to be loyal to brands and do not switch easily if they are once accustomed to a certain comfort. But they also look for integrity, usefulness, and functionality of garments and are less impulsive buyers than their vulnerable counterparts. With men becoming more interested in investing in them and making attempts to stay fashionable is the reason for menswear picking up the pace and making this category a bankable apparel segment.

References:

  1. Mintel.com
  2. Reuters.com
  3. Businessoffashion.com
  4. Reportlinker.com