2015 will be remembered as the year the world sent men to Syria.
Never mind. In 2016, men will be going to the shops.
Last year saw the menswear market grow faster than the womenswear market. In a bulge not seen since the great Tudor codpiece movement, men are per-head beginning to outspend women on all things fashion. 2015 saw New York join Paris, London and Tokyo in hosting a separate, menswear-only fashion week whilst everyone from luxury brands to start-ups are now positioning themselves to catch the new wave of mental-for-this-look males. What’s going on?
The data points in part to the emerging markets: places like China, South East Asia, Russia as well as the Middle East are all seeing a major uptick in men spending on fashion. Part of that comes from an emergent, youthful, newly-moneyed middle class who at this stage of their lives are more likely to spend on jeans and shades than save for a house.
There’s also the fact that whilst men buy menswear, women also buy menswear. Both of these things have prompted – and subsequently been sped up by – a sweep of stores opening up in these regions – from Zegna , the most profitable menswear brand in the world with stores in 35 cities in China alone, to H&M who this year opened in the Philippines – overnight becoming the country’s largest clothing store.
Meanwhile, in places like the UK, US and Western Europe it’s been put down to a more general cultural shift. Men appear increasingly open to the concept of being ‘into fashion’.
At any rate, the media’s reaction to the growth of the menswear world has mostly been a series of think pieces about changing perceptions of masculinity. Which is all very well, but cultural changes are slow moving beasts. Shorter term, the increasing influence of menswear is going to have a tangible effect on both the wider fashion industry and perhaps media in general. To start with…
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Image Source: www.businessinsider.com