A look back at New York Men’s Fashion Week 2015
Lanky model after model cruises down the catwalk as the cameras flash and the crowd titters.
Where they once used to be gaunt females strutting in flowing dresses and abstract colors, now they are men walking in the clothes of the new generation. So much so, that world famous designer Thom Browne opened the week by saying how important it was to him to be there for the opening.
After years of New York Fashion Week only being focused women, designers and models alike have this year decided to try and change the gender focus to include men. Although the men’s edition is on a much smaller scale than its female counterparts, there has been plenty of attention lavished on men’s’ fashion this year. Europe has been onto men’s trends for years, with men’s fashion being a lot more daring and revered in their fashion weeks, something that the United States is now trying to echo.
This is especially true as the idea of office wear has changed. In the past, men’s fashion was never considered worthy of press, because office wear was restricted to neutrally-colored suits and ties (which does not bode for a lot of customization). But the world has now changed, and more and more men are wearing jeans to work on a daily basis. The ‘Business Casual’ trend has been made fashionable by the thousands of startup companies throughout the United States, and ties have been retired to the backs of closets.
With the sudden change, a massive and gaping hole has opened in men’s fashion. After years of the industry being neglected, it was suddenly found that nothing was available to fill the hole of modernity. Here, social media has created a bridge to the wonderful world of new men’s fashion.
Through social media and men’s fashion blogs a new lease on life was given to men’s fashion industry. Instead of being limited to stores, American men could now jump onto the internet and find a variety of fashion blogs aimed directly at them that depicted the international styles that they all craved. This has grown further through the sales of clothing online. Instead of spending hours sifting through clothing racks, guys could now simply go to their favourite online seller and choose the styles they wanted or that suited them without all the extra fuss.
E-commerce has contributed to the insane growth of the male fashion industry. According to the CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Steven Kolb, the male fashion industry has grown so quickly that it has far surpassed the women’s fashion industry. He attributes this to online sales, as it is way more efficient and convenient than shopping in a store. Not to mention how many more options are available from online retailers- including international shipping.
And the statistics are agreeing with him. The Euromonitor International reported earlier this year that menswear sales increased 4.5% in 2014 alone. The online sales percentages are even higher, increasing to a 17% growth rate every year.
That’s billions of Dollars, and fashion power houses are jumping on the money train.
Designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Hermes have launched massive men’s fashion lines which have been met with astronomical success. The shows are also all inclusive, with famous designers Public School having all races walk the catwalk- including a Sikh with his traditional turban. The big name companies know that menswear is growing, which is why so many of them offered to sponsor the event. Amazon Fashion and Cadillac are both named under the sponsors of the event.
The uptake in the male fashion industry can also be attributed to the generation that everyone loves to hate: the millennials. Say what you want, but the millennials have some serious style. In the age of connectedness, when every person uses a smartphone on a daily basis, what you wear and look like has never been as closely scrutinized as it is today. Even the most common male role models like athletes and celebrities are looking extra sharp nowadays, and their influence is showing. More and more athletes and celebrities are designing or collaborating on fashion lines for men, adding their own two cents to the mix. This has all accumulated in the standalone male fashion event that was previously only a small part of the female fashion lines.
Since major name athletes have picked up the fashion ball, all the cards have been on the table. But they aren’t the only ones carrying the male fashion torch, and fashion blogging has become the new norm for guys.
- Need to know what to wear for a friend’s beach wedding? There’s a blog post for that.
- Need to know how to style your brand new lumbersexual beard? There’s a blog post for that.
All these male role models have suddenly made it ok to be fashion conscious while still being as masculine as you want to be. Men’s fashion is now in this great space where you can wear and be whatever you want to be, whether it be hipster, metrosexual or lubersexual.
The editor of fashion magazine Garmento, Jeremy Lewis, added his opinion to the pile saying that the idea of what is considered masculine has changed. He added that the old idea of what was fashionable for men was quite sexist and it was time to change. While the world is celebrating all the different kinds of men’s fashion though, the United States still has to play catch up to get to where the rest of the international market is.
New York was the last of the four big fashion capitals to have a dedicated men’s fashion show, and it has gotten nowhere near as much attention as the women’s shows have gotten. This was one of the reasons that American-born designer Todd Snyder spent $75 000 on his show alone, to attract a large audience of international buyers, editors and fashion lovers.
The CFDA are trying to combat this however, with major marketing campaigns and support from big name fashion designers, and are hoping that the men’s fashion edition will become a staple of New York Fashion Week for years to come. Along with this hope, the guys are also adding their support by sharing the news and dates on all social media they can to drum up more fashion lovers who happen to be male. Menswear fans showed up in droves to the first shows, with a couple of famous musicians, actors and athletes leading the line into the audience.
Stylist to the stars, Memsor Kamarake, vocally added his support to the men’s fashion week event. Kamarake stated:” So I just love — if there’s a name I don’t know — to go and check it out. Because that’s what my job is. It’s my job to also help support the talent that’s here in this city. Having such a wide range of talent on display just makes my job a … lot easier.” .Soon, articles and posts just like this one will be a thing of the past. Memsor Kamarake isn’t alone in wanting more options to choose from, and if they’re local it will be even better. Guys have earned their right to dress to impress, and in a few years’ time the male fashion week edition will be just as famous as the female edition. After all, they’ve more than earned the right to dress to impress.
Take a look: Mens’ Fashion Week Amazon Deals 2015