This is a chapter from the book “FASHION BRANDS” , on which i had to make a presentation and explain it to my classmates, with the ultimate goal of explaining them the learnings from that chapter.
This chapter talks about how mens fashion industry evolved and what drives men to buy clothes. It also states that “ MEN DON’T BUY FASHION — THEY BUY CLOTHES”. The chapter in detail:-
Male fashion industry is an industry which is completely dependent upon influencing. What men see they buy. Celebrities played an important role driving the fashion trends and boosting the fashion industry, as what they used to wear was picked up by the common people and adopted by them.It was more of a trickle down effect.
Celebrities like Sean Connery , Micheal Caine, Frank Sinatra and others played an important role as they were the trend setters of mens fashion industry.
Mens fashion barely changes from season to season the reason behind that is that the changes are not great it may be a button more or less ,double or single breasted jacket ,the colour of the shirt ,width of the trouser leg.
DYLAN JONES — editor of the British GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine says that — Men are usually less sophisticated consumers of fashion than women, menswear fashion industry is not very old , men consumers who used to spend less on clothing have started increasing their expenditure this is due to the increase in the fashion magazines. The magazines had images of men who were wearing latest trends and the common man could connect and imagine themselves wearing the same so this is how the men fashion industry boosted. The entire industry was kick started by PAUL SMITH.
This chapter also talks about how a male consumer can be loyal to a brand , men as consumers are concerned about status and they like to be confident ,so if they feel good in a certain item or if their wife, girlfriend or colleagues approves or appreciates they are likely to go back for the same brand.This also explains the continued success of Armani and Paul Smith.
Hedi Slimane was also one of the most important persons in the mens fashion industry ,formerly working at Dior Homme. He had a specific style of making skinny black suits. Hedi Slimane was known for his connections in the world of Rock music. He dressed famous personalities like Alex Kapranos ,Franz Ferdinand ,Thurston Moore from the world of rock music and influenced the common people to buy his garments.
The book further talks about the different trends of the different decades-
1920’s — was the era of big voluminous trousers, short sleeved tennis shirts , soft collared shirts worn without ties and relaxed suits that could be worn all day .
1940’s — during this era it was a look inspired by the zazous of Paris with their overlong jackets and greased back hair, looked like cartoon versions of Chicago gangsters.
1960’s — This as a time when ready to wear took the high ground and personal tailors became the thing of the past, it was generally the time of rejection and invention.
1980’s — There was an Economic boom during this time this meant that it was the time of the Wall street Brokers ,who became the new fashion avatars with their double-breasted suits, shoulder pads and wide ties. The movie Wall Street released in 1987 also played a major role.
Thus i would disagree to a statement given in the book saying that “ MEN DON’T BUY FASHION — THEY BUY CLOTHES” this is because men were adopting to the different trends and fashion of their time and in the current world situation men have become more conscious and aware of fashion and they are willing to purchase the latest trends available.