REPORT As London Fashion Week Men’s officially begins in this morning, signalling the start of Men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris before ending in New York next month, the industry still questions the future of the event. As an increasing number of leading brands, including Gucci, Burberry and Tom Ford, chose to present their women’s and men’s collection together, thus departing from men’s fashion week, many wonder what is next for the male-focused fashion weeks. Even though the departure of a number of leading names does leave room smaller brands and emerging menswear designers to show, some worry that it can also lead to a lack of visitors in turn.
However, even though the future of London Fashion Week Men’s remains unknown, one thing is clear – the menswear market in the UK is only growing. New research from Mintel shows that men across the UK are only becoming more and more conscious of what they buy, and are giving their female counterparts a serious run for their money. The UK menswear market is estimated to have grown 2.8 percent in 2016, more than twice the amount of womenswear, reaching a total of 14.5 billion pounds. Granted, the menswear sector still only accounts for 27 percent of the total apparel market as the womenswear market is estimated reach 27.25 billion pounds in 2016, but data shows the menswear market will continue growing over the next five years.
Mintel forecasts the UK menswear market to grow by 12.3 percent between 2016 and 2021 to hit 16.3 billion pounds, which sees the market growing at a faster rate than the womenswear market. But just because the menswear market is growing at a faster pace than its female counterpart does not mean that male shoppers are easier to please. 61 percent of male shoppers agree that frequent special deals or offers make it unnecessary for them to purchase clothes at full price. This means that many men, especially young male shoppers who are buying clothes more often, will wait for sales before making a purchase. In fact, research found that 21 percent of male shoppers aged under the age of 25 want more frequently updated collections.
But do not be fooled into thinking that all men are looking to score a good deal when it comes to fashion, as men were also found to be more likely than women to pay more for clothes made in Britain. 42 percent of male shoppers agreed it’s worth paying more for locally made clothes than 37 percent of female shoppers, with a willingness to pay a higher price for locally made garments peaking among male 25 to 34-year-olds (62 percent). In addition, over a third of male shoppers said they would be interested in buying clothing made from more eco-friendly fabrics, depicting a willingness to embrace more sustainable fashion choices. Men were also found to be more likely to embrace more casual, sportier styles of apparel for everyday wear than women, with 50 percent indicating this to be their preference, highlighting the importance of sportswear for the menswear market.
“More retailers and brands have been tapping into the growing menswear market by expanding their men’s clothing offer, as well as launching stores and separate websites dedicated to men’s fashion,” commented Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst at Mintel. “As more retailers are entering the menswear market and men are faced with a greater choice of products, styles and sizing, the sector is becoming more competitive. Millennial men are also becoming more demanding, wanting higher quality pieces, frequently updated collections and unique designs, and they will choose to buy clothes from those retailers and brands that step up to the plate.”
However, it’s not just in the apparel arena that men are keeping up with women, as men also showed increased interest in footwear. Young men were found to be more likely than young women to have purchased footwear during the last quarter – 47 percent of men between 16 and 24 versus 45 percent of women the same age – as the rising popularity of trainers continues to drive men’s footwear sales. As more workplaces embrace a more casual dresscode, more men and women are beginning to wear comfortable shoes, like trainers inside and outside of the workplace and gyms.
During the month of June FashionUnited will focus on the menswear catwalk season. For all reads, click here.
Photo 1: London Fashion Week Men's, Model Zone
Photo 2 & 3: via Pexels
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