“As male consumers begin to take to style and fashion with the same fervour as their female counterparts, menswear is a growing priority for luxury and fashion brands. “ (Business of Fashion).
A $50 Billion Opportunity. As of Today.
By now the menswear and mens e-commerce movement is in full-swing. We are fortunate to be living in a golden age of mens bloggers and brands creating great collections and even better content.
In an attempt to map out the future, we decided to take a snapshot of the mens brands, bloggers, and e-commerce sites currently taking things to another level — consider it a mens market refresher.
This rising crop (and countless others) has enabled men to seek and easily find the latest menswear looks, info, and product, and on any device. The mens market has certainly come a long, long way. All signs point to the male consumer buying fashion at record levels — with no sign of stopping. How did we get here and why is this so important?
The Menswear Movement. A Quick History.
1985 only 25% of all mens apparel was bought by men. 75% was bought by women for men. (NPD)
1998 men were buying 52% of apparel for themselves (NPD) but in….
2004 …it was 69% with no sign of slowing. (NPD)
2005 “The result is a full-blown category of menswear that draws equally from skateboard and surf culture, the preppy canon and the runways of Prada & Marc Jacobs.” (NYTimes, June 19, 2005)
2011 Does the Menswear Industry Matter? Um, yes. (Forbes)
2011 Study shows that men are more active social shoppers than women (E Marketing and Commerce)
2012 “Men don’t shop; they buy. Men spend 30 percent less time browsing online than women, viewing fewer pages before purchasing,” Frederico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox
2012 “Men are the New Women……The luxury menswear market is growing at almost 14 percent per year, outpacing growth in womenswear by almost double.” (Business of Fashion, Bain)
2013 “Men, look how far you have come….the arrival of a generation of young men who are taking more risks with their style.” (NY Times February 13, 2013)
2014…….$50 Billion. At least.
In 2013 sales of Mens apparel were up 2.8% to $58.6B for the 12 months ended September (NPD).
According to Bain & Co, sales grew more quickly for men’s than for women’s apparel, which inched up only .9% to $111.63B in the US. In contrast, sales of men’s high-end and ready-to-wear apparel rose 10% over the same period.
The Armory New York, Photo Cred: (A Continuous Lean)
In our view, women’s brands are really just competing to shift existing market share in an already hyper-competitive, maxed-out market (emerging markets notwithstanding). A huge market for sure, but one with nowhere near the opportunity presented by the mens market, especially for new brands. But how do you reach them? Part of the solution can be found by first taking a look at some of today’s most impactful mens fashion blogs and emerging brands. It’s an expert combination of beautifully designed product, content, convenience, community building, and digital branding savvy.
Men’s Fashion Bloggers and Content Sites
Here is a short (and in no way comprehensive or quantitative) list of mens bloggers and lifestyle sites to keep an eye on. As we’ve mentioned before, the best metric to follow is the level of content engagement — not necessarily size, traffic levels, or # of followers. The content in these sites tends to be straightforward, easy-to-follow, and educational from a men’s lifestyle perspective.
Niche, Tastemaker, Tailoring, Craftsmanship.
http://cultureclub.clubmonaco.com/ Club Monaco’s “Culture Club” content site
and of course http://www.thesartorialist.com/
Larger, more mainstream media sites.
http://four-pins.com/ (Complex Media)
Examples of smaller, niche Tumblrs with good engagement.
http://pleatsareforlovers.tumblr.com/ (from the editor of Gilt Man)
A collection of (mostly) emerging mens brands and E-commerce sites doing great things with product design, quality content, and social storytelling. We also recommend following these on Instagram to get the bigger picture.
http://www.raenoptics.com/ (mens and womens sunglasses)
https://www.everlane.com/ (men and women)
The granddaddy of them all http://www.mrporter.com/journal
As you can see there is a wide range of mens style and culture resources now readily available. You no longer have to live in LA or NYC to have the latest and greatest intel.
What to Do.
Brands: select blogger partners based on quality of content and engagement — bigger is not always better. Build community around great product and high quality content.
Bloggers: reach out to brands that are a good fit for your content. All brands need content these days, and lots of it.
Build Your Story: to paraphrase designer Paul Smith, “there is a story in everything you do. If you can’t find one, look again.”
Curation and Editorial Content: present unique, educational editorial content that doesn’t try too hard — straightforward, informative, but elegant (and that doesn’t mirror women’s content).
Strategize, Track, and Measure: measure the effectiveness of the content you post whether you’re a brand or blogger. Content creators and brands should work together to co-establish key (and attainable) success metrics that can help extend the life of the content you both publish.
We Repeat, A $50 Billion Opportunity.
There’s still about $50B out there up for grabs in the U.S. alone. That’s “billion” with a capital ‘B.’
Designers are Waking Up to the Mens Luxury Fashion Market (NY Times, May 1, 2014)
Shopping Behavioral Differences Between Men and Women (Practical Commerce)
Men Are Out-Shopping Women Online (CNBC May 2, 2012)
6 Trends Driving Mens E-Commerce (Mashable from 2012 but a good refresher)
Proliferation of Shops for Men Only (NY Times)
Top Photo Cred: Louis Vuitton Menswear ‘13 – High Snobiety
By: Jed Wexler