This seemed to be the mindset driving the fashion brand’s strategies in 2021, as expansion to menswear became a popular move. But other factors also contributed to the trend. For starters, now more men are being influenced to improve their fashion game. And, as a result, they shop more.
The common benchmarks for men that many fashion brands are taking advantage of are athletes. For example, Frame relaunched its 7-year-old menswear line this fall, reportedly led by new CEO Nicolas Dreyfus regarding the category as a great brand opportunity. The goal is to grow the men’s line, now focused on “timeless classics with an extra touch”, from 10% of the business to 50%. Among the first marketing tactics for the line was the equipment of NBA and NFL players for match day. On December 18, the brand shared a seven-slide Instagram post with Indiana Pacers player Justin Holiday in a Frame trench coat and Arizona Cardinals player Isaiah Simmons wearing a Frame overshirt, among others. The post saw more engagement than any other Frame post in 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 men’s fashion brand, nicknamed Brady. The debut is scheduled for mid-January. “There hasn’t been an athlete’s namesake brand since Jordan,” Grede said in early December. “Tom Brady is the GOAT. His name has been synonymous with football for several generations ”.
It is worth noting that the Instagram account of NBA Slam publication @LeagueFits, which exclusively documents the appearance of athletes, has gained 766,000 followers, including Grede.
Further supporting the concept that, for men, “athlete” equals “style icon” is a statistic in the new Pinterest predicts 2022 relationship. Among the platform’s trends, it said searches for “men with a pearl necklace” increased 7-fold in the year ending June 2021, compared to the previous year. This is undoubtedly related to the outside of the Atlanta Braves Pederson game, which 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 menswear in response to demand, sometimes indirectly through partner retailers.
This was the case with the New York Commission label, which launched menswear for the fall, and based in Paris They left, which launched a men’s line in September. Both were pushed to go there by online luxury retailer Ssense, based on the success of their women’s lines in the store. Fifty percent of Ssense’s customers are men.
Likewise, contemporary brand Sanctuary launched menswear in September, based in part on information CEO Ken Polanko received from retail partners.
“They told me that 50% of all their men’s sales came from female customers who were shopping for their loved ones, “she said.” And we had already gained the trust of consumers in their stores. ” there are Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
At the same time, Polanko realized that Sanctuary had just gained an extensive email list of reusable male customers when it sold their masks at the height of Covid. This served as the starting point for Sanctuary’s menswear commercialization.
According to The NPD Group, men’s apparel growth continued to outpace women’s growth. From January 2021 to November 2021, sales of men’s clothing grew 12%, compared to the same pre-pandemic period in 2019. This is four points higher than the increase in women’s clothing.
“Men are experiencing a reassessment of their fashion needs,” said Kristen Classi-Zummo, fashion apparel analyst for NPD. “Whether it’s due to a change in their office dress codes, a change in their size or a new focus on wellness, they’re finding their pre-pandemic wardrobe needs an update.”
She added, “[The male shopper’s] trying to discover new brands and test what works and what doesn’t, [making it] a great time [for brands] enter this space “.
And there is no shortage of brands and retailers that go there. Nili Lotan, designer of her namesake fashion brand, announced this month it will launch menswear in summer 2022. The new menswear line from luxury brand Erdem will also be launched next year and The Outnet will add menswear to its assortment.
And just this year, the mall retailer New York & Company introduced menswear in August, and Louis Vuitton opened its first self-contained menswear store in Miami earlier this month. Meanwhile, when Barneys at Saks opened in Greenwich, Connecticut in January, Saks’ chief trader Tracy Margolies justified the decision to dedicate the first floor to men’s accessories.
“The men continue to strengthen the business,” he said.