Menswear: Expanding the breadth of opportunity
“With the rising fashion-consciousness and increasing importance of personal appearance amongst men, the demand for menswear is escalating across the globe.” – Business Wire
Looking at sales statistics we can see immense growth within the menswear fashion industry. The market has been growing rapidly specifically within the past decade, which has also spiked the growth within male influencers. Menswear as a whole has been growing faster than womenswear for three years in a row now.
As a whole, the market remains smaller, but with over 30% growth in sales of men’s luxury footwear alone, menswear is a force to be reckoned with! We spoke to an array of international industry experts from different markets within the European fashion industry in light of this article to find out where they see the industry going and to gather primary research from within various fields within the industry.
Why is there a rise in the menswear market?
Growing fashion self-expression and self-awareness:
Percentages are on the rise not only within sales but also within the demand. Men are taking themselves more seriously within the subject of appearance and clothing. We have seen continuous growth mainly within the past decade, which has only been enhanced through the current situation of many having to work from home and finding themselves with the freedom of wearing whatever they want to without having to think about an “appropriate work uniform”.
Menswear has been very dominated by the workwear market for a long time, but as workplaces become more casual, the breadth of opportunity of variety for men’s clothing has begun to rapidly grow.
Not only are men in the position of requiring extra clothing but they are also finding themselves in a place of being able to experiment with clothing and use it as a form of self-expression.
More brands, more styles, more choices:
Alongside casual menswear and athleisure, plaid shirts specifically, have been witnessing rapid sales on a global scale. Choices within the market have always been more limited in comparison to womenswear, making “two centimetres more on jacket a revolution.” But with the changing of the times, comes the development and continuation of growth, awareness and willingness to grow from a designer and consumer perspective.
Men have started taking their appearances more seriously, giving them access to more variety within their wardrobes, which is being furthered and even encouraged by brands and designers following suit and offering more to their consumers. A combination of the times, technology and fashion awareness are amongst the causes of the rapid growth within the menswear market.
“The male consumer is very open to newness,” said Emmanuel de Bayser, co-owner of The Corner Berlin. “More and more, we’re seeing them following trends faster than before.”
Menswear outgrowing Womenswear
Whilst the womenswear market still dominates a larger chunk of the fashion industry, it is also women that have started contributing to the growth in menswear by purchasing and wearing clothing originally designed for their boyfriends and brothers, leading towards an expansion of the initial target customer.
Through this rise, it is expected for more and more brands, big and small to jump onto the trend and expand the breadth of collections and choices for customers. By doing so there will be a spike in competition within the market but also within the level of creativity and effort from brands as well as influencers will be incorporating into their work to capitalise on this growth in the market as much as they are able to.
What are the opportunities?
We spoke to Graham Addinall the Fashion Editor of Danish Magazine Dossier, British Freelance Stylist Michael Rathbone as well as German business owners and influencers Sissi Pohle and Patrick Scherzer, to find out where they see the industry going and to discover the opportunities menswear has to offer.
Fashion Editor of Dossier Magazine, Graham Addinall has 18 years of experience working at Paul Smith in the UK and teaches classes at a University in Barcelona to share his in depth knowledge alongside his work for Dossier.
Find Graham on Instagram: @grahamaddinall
“I see the rise in menswear falling under different categories. From the “big spenders” aged 25 and under, who live at home and spend all their savings and income on designer it-pieces to wear for a few weeks to re-sell them afterwards all the way to the category of 40+ year old customers who have money to spend and value quality and looking as well as feeling great. Where women like purchasing items for their appearance, men are valuing quality and “like getting it right”.
Using clothing as a status symbol, even if as subtle as a logo is giving people a “code of saying I made it”.
For the future, I see the industry of mens fashion changing and have clothing become progressively more and more comfortable. Once you try something comfortable you can’t go back, which is something many customers have found especially now in these times of Covid-19, which has been pushing even something as classic and timeless as a suit to be adapted and made with more stretchy fabrics.”
London based freelance Stylist Michael Rathbone, who formerly worked for LEWIS MAGAZINE in the UK working on a strong focus within menswear styling also shared his observations with us. The University of central Lancashire graduate sent us a quote from the UK Capital with his thoughts on the topic.
Find Michael on Instagram: @michaelrathbone
“I think that menswear is really thriving right now due to the fact that gender stereotypes are becoming increasingly antiquated, and men are becoming more expressive in their choices. I think designers are more confident now to blur the lines and create new more exciting and innovative styles.
Men are more comfortable with colour and playing around with new styles and looks which in turn is really helping the menswear industry, men care now more than ever about their appearance.
Streetwear and sneaker culture have really seen a rise in prominence over the last 5 years or so, and this has led to a boom in guys investing more in their wardrobes, from high street level to high-end designers. Menswear designers are really at the forefront of the industry at this time, with big names in menswear being appointed at large luxury fashion houses, like Kim Jones at Dior and now Fendi, his influence is unmatched right now.”
Sissi Pohle & Patrick Scherzer
Sissi Pohle and Patrick Scherzer are no strangers within the German fashion scene, especially when it comes to individual looks and sharing each others wardrobe it-pieces!
Whilst working as influencers they also started their own company “outofuseberlin”, which is a specialised vintage interior and fashion store and is closely collaborating with H&M Berlin.
“The commercial fashion industry will probably always prefer a divide within Genders and keep producing separate men’s and women’s collections. Brands, who think more freely, and that are brave enough, already started adding unisex pieces into collections years ago.
When we buy a new piece, we only purchase items, that both of us are able to wear. This means, all in all, we consume less. We hope more collections will start being less gender-specific within their designs and to create a selection where everyone can be targeted.”
“At the end of the day success is measured on whether a customer likes and buys the Fashion. If the customer has the possibility to decide without having to ask “am I even allowed to buy this-is this piece even made for my gender?”
Reach out to our experts as well as more of the most renowned contacts within the men’s Fashion industry
In light of this undeniable rise within the men’s fashion industry, we at VOCAST have created curated lists dedicated solely to men’s fashion in order to make it easier for you to navigate the ever-growing market. The lists have been segmented to make targeting the most relevant people even easier.
From press to influencers and stylists, our team of international researchers has handpicked the most impactful menswear contacts for you to take the next step with your marketing strategy.
Isabelle is the Fashion and Lifestyle Researcher for the DACH market at VOCAST. She has a degree in Fashion Promotion and works as a Social Media Manager and Copywriter alongside her work at VOCAST.
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