Out of fashion: how men could fall off the catwalk
By Giulia Segreti
MILAN (Reuters) - Men are in danger of falling off the catwalk in Europe.
Menswear shows, traditionally held months before the women hit the runways later in the year, are being slowly airbrushed from the fashion industry's calendar and folded into the women's events, almost as an accessory.
In Milan, where male models are strutting their stuff in shows that began on Friday for men's fashion week, 10 designers have decided not to showcase their collections this year including Calvin Klein, Ermenegildo Zegna and Kering's Brioni and Bottega Veneta.
Other brands, including Burberry, Gucci and Tom Ford, have announced in recent months that they plan to stage combined events in future. Most said this would allow them to show buyers and customers both collections at the same time, giving a more complete idea of their designs.
But some industry insiders and analysts say separate men's fashion shows, which can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each, are no longer worth the money for luxury brands, which have been hit by a global sales slowdown.
Menswear pulls in far less money than womenswear, in terms of sales, and men's shows generate a fraction of the global publicity of women's.
"They (brands) are focusing on what has the highest return on investment," said Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli.
The women's shows draw A-list celebrities such as George Clooney and Beyonce in their front rows, attract throngs of news photographers and broadcasters and trend wildly on social media. In contrast, men's catwalk don't turn as many heads with their low-key guest lists. Continued...