Has anyone else noticed that guys are becoming increasingly stylish recently? Maybe it’s another side effect of social media, or maybe it’s the socially progressive times we’re currently living in. At any rate, dudes are tossing out their beer koozies in search of suave wardrobes, and fashion brands have noticed.
The menswear market is relatively small, but one brand trying to break into it is Los Angeles-based denim label Mother. Mother just dropped their new men’s line on May 15, as an answer to their cult classic women’s line.
The brand had previously released a women’s collection called “Mother Superior” that used men’s fits and fabrics. The collection did so well that it served as a point of reference for the founders, who realized they were onto something.
“Men really get into the details,” Co-founder of Mother, Tim Kaeding, told the LA Times. “It’s the small nuances, especially in the jeans world, that dudes pick up on and appreciate; the amount of stitches we use; the placement of the stitches — the little things.”
Certainly, the menswear market moves at a slower pace than women’s. It seems like skinny jeans, for example, have been in fashion for dudes for years now. This slowness probably comes from the fact that the average man has a tendency to prefer function over form.
Most guys don’t need the latest dress to feel confident—they find confidence in comfort, which can mean anything depending on the guy you’re talking about. A well-tailored suit may do for some, whereas a trusty hoodie might be another’s preference.
But somewhere between the guy who resists sartorial change, and the hypebeast who lines up for the latest sneaker, lies a third menswear customer. This is the guy who likes his detailed, high-end staples, but also incorporates the new and the now in subtle ways. He might wear a green shirt because it’s on trend, but only with his tried and true rag & bone jeans.
Unfortunately for those guys, much of the inspirational fashion that designers create never actually gets bought or produced. Many retailers only buy a fraction of men’s runway collections every season, compared to a much higher percentage for women—despite the 19.5% pay gap between the sexes.
But, as we have seen with certain brands, this is starting to shift.
Moda Operandi is ready to dig into dude’s pockets, for one. The e-commerce and trunk show website is launching a men’s shop on June 22. Their goal is to “serve [the] underserved,” as told to the Business of Fashion.
Moda Operandi‘s move into menswear is actually quite brilliant. The brand’s pre-order business model will allow guys to shop a robust edit of men’s clothing that no one else has—a major competitive advantage. It also means they don’t have to purchase tons of stock, so the risk for Moda is fairly low.
Other luxury brands who are beefing up their offerings for men include Mansur Gavriel, who will introduce men’s clothing in September. Hedi Slimane is also bringing menswear into the mix, as the newly installed creative director of Céline. His first collection is set to hit the runway this September.
Fast fashion retailer Fashion Nova is also getting into menswear. The brand just launched their own line for guys, which is apparently flopping. Fans on social media weren’t shy about their disappointment either.
“I was expecting more heat from fashion nova men’s. I expected bright colors, skin showing, rompers, silk shirts, THE WORKS,” wrote one critic.
While Fashion Nova and brands like Céline don’t share similar customer demographics, they do illuminate one crucial fact: guys want to look good.
Shop our men’s edit, below.