This seemed to be the mindset that guided fashion brands’ strategies in 2021, as the expansion into men’s clothing became a popular decision. But other factors have also contributed to the trend. For starters, more and more men are now being influenced to improve their fashion game. And, therefore, they do more shopping.
Common benchmarks for men that many fashion brands use are athletes. For example, Frame relaunched its 7-year-old men’s clothing line this fall, would have led by new CEO Nicolas Dreyfus who sees the category as a great brand opportunity. The objective is to increase the men’s line, now focused on “revisited timeless classics”, from 10% to 50%. Among the first marketing tactics for the lineup was outfitting NBA and NFL players for game day. On December 18, the brand shared a seven-slide Instagram post featuring Indiana Pacers player Justin Holiday in a Frame trench coat and Arizona Cardinals player Isaiah Simmons wearing a Frame overshirt, among others. The post has garnered more engagement than any Frame post over the past few months, with 1,700 likes and dozens of comments.
Frame co-founder Jens Grede clearly believes in the influence of athletes. This year, he also teamed up with Tom Brady on a menswear brand, called Brady. He is expected to debut in mid-January. “There hasn’t been an eponymous athlete brand since Jordan,” Grede said in early December. “Tom Brady is the GOAT. His name has been synonymous with football for generations.
It should be noted that the Instagram account @LeagueFits of the NBA Slam publication, which exclusively documents the appearance of the athletes, drew 766,000 followers, including Grede.
Further supporting the idea that for men “athlete” equates to “style icon” is a statistic in the new Pinterest predicts 2022 report. Among the platform’s trends, he said searches for “pearl-necked men” were up 7-fold in the year ending June 2021, compared to the previous year. It’s undoubtedly related to the Atlanta Braves outfielder Joc pederson, who received a lot of press for wearing the accessory regularly. Along with Gen Z, men are Pinterest’s fastest growing user demo.
In addition to seeing men take more interest in fashion, brands are launching men’s clothing in response to demand, sometimes indirectly through partner retailers.
This is the case with the New York label Commission, which launched men’s fashion for fall, and the Parisian label Left-handed, which released a men’s line in September. The two were enticed to go there by online luxury retailer Ssense, due to the success of their women’s lines in the store. Fifty percent of Ssense customers are men.
Likewise, contemporary brand Sanctuary launched men’s clothing in September, in part based on information CEO Ken Polanko received from retail partners.
“They told me that 50% of all their men’s sales are from female customers buying for loved ones, ”he said. “And we had already won the trust of consumers in their stores. Sanctuary’s business partners include Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
At the same time, Polanko realized that Sanctuary had just gained a significant email distribution list of retargeted male customers when he sold them masks during the height of Covid. This served as the starting point for the marketing of Sanctuary men’s clothing.
According to The NPD Group, the growth of men’s clothing continued to outpace that of women. From January 2021 to November 2021, sales of men’s clothing rose 12%, compared to the same period before the 2019 pandemic. It was four points higher than the rise in women’s clothing.
“Men are undergoing a reassessment of their fashion needs,” said Kristen Classi-Zummo, fashion apparel industry analyst for NPD. Whether it’s due to a change in their dress codes in the office, a change in their own size, or a new focus on wellness, they find that their pre-pandemic wardrobe is in need of attention. ‘a refreshment.”
She added, “[The male shopper’s] seek to discover new brands and test what works and what does not, [making it] a big moment [for brands] enter this space.
And there is no shortage of brands and retailers. Nili Lotan, creator of her eponymous fashion brand, announcement This month, it will launch men’s clothing in the summer of 2022. Also next year, the luxury brand from Erdem a new line of men’s clothing will be launched, and The Outnet will add men’s clothing to its assortment.
And this year alone, the mall retailer New York and company introduced menswear in August, and Louis Vuitton opened its first standalone men’s store in Miami earlier this month. Meanwhile, when Barneys at Saks opened in Greenwich, Connecticut in January, Saks chief merchant Tracy Margolies vindicated the decision to devote the first floor to men’s accessories.
“The men continue to support the business,” she said.