Britain's fashion pack targets tech-savvy men to lift sales

Fri Jan 9, 2015 10:11am EST
 
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's leading fashion brands are hoping to give menswear sales a lift by targeting younger, digitally savvy male shoppers with live streaming and social media to promote the twice-yearly mens fashion week that began on Friday.

London is looking to establish itself as the leading menswear fashion capital over Paris, New York and Milan by dedicating four days to showcasing the latest trends - and designers and retailers are hoping to turn the catwalk buzz into cash.

"Menswear is evolving at a phenomenal rate," said Darren Skey, Head of Menswear at luxury department store Harvey Nichols.

"We get customers coming into the store with images from the catwalks, inquiring when or if we are getting certain styles and looks in," he said.

Menswear, long considered the least profitable segment of the fashion industry, is expected to rack up sales of 16.4 billion pounds ($25 billion) by 2018, still little more than half the 30.4 billion pound forecast for womenswear that year, according to research firm Mintel.

Annual sales of womenswear in 2013 came to 24.9 billion, far outstripping menswear sales of 12.9 billion.

The move to tap in to the power of digital services follows an increase in the proportion of men shopping for fashion online, jumping from 52 percent to 65 percent in 2013, from a survey of 2,000 consumers aged over 16.

MR PORTER.COM, a luxury online retailer whose website attracts around 1.6 million visitors a month, will launch a clothing collection designed exclusively for the film Kingsman.   Continued...

 
Models present creations from the Topman Design Autumn/Winter 2015 collection during "London Collections: Men" in London January 9, 2015. "REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett