The Don Draper Effect: Men’s Fashion Is Booming And These Retailers Are Gaining

Mad Men may have ended, but it turns out that leading man Don Draper remains in some surprising places–the wardrobe and the bathroom.

Draper has inspired men of all ages to step up their dressing and grooming habits–or, to at least upgrade their hoodies. As a result, companies expect to cash in.

“Gen Y and Millennial men are more interested in fashion, grooming and things that are a key part of the fashion and apparel retailing sector,” says Mary Brett Whitfield, SVP of Kantar Retail. “This is why you see a lot of retailers who historically have been primarily focused on women extending their brands to be more appealing to men.”

Last month at Cowen & Company’s “Men at Work” summit, companies like Lululemon Athletica , Saks Fifth Avenue and Sotheby’s, along with several privately-held entities, presented fascinating insight and information about their newest target demographic: Men.

In the firm’s report, led by the one and only Oliver Chen, the team declared, “men are the new women,” and estimated the men’s apparel market alone is worth around $63 billion and growing in the upper low-single digits. Further, the team found that,

“The men’s apparel market is in the middle innings of a five-year cycle of outperforming growth in the overall market as the sub-sector is following similar patterns as the women sector, including: greater interest in more personalized style versus wearing more of a “uniform”; new styles of suiting and work attire with a more casual, modern tailoring look; the rise of male millennials consuming fashion trends faster; and a permanent trend towards incorporating performance aspects in apparel.”

In an interview, Chen explains, “Classic cocktails and craft beer have come in style and with them, there’s a return to certain basics as well, including dress. Men being the new women is our way of saying men are starting to care more.”

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