| Axel Botur |
BERLIN (dpa) – Men’s fashion has always played second fiddle to women’s wear, but that is changing, according to trend analysts and industry watchers. A few are even speaking of a boom in menswear.
The Italian city of Milan recently renamed a street and dedicated it to fashion for men, with 300 metres of frontage for stores where every cultivated man will find everything he needs to wear.
The Via Gesu in Milan’s Quadrilatero district has everything from high fashion suits from Brioni and Kiton to elegant shoes by Doucal or shirts from Barba Napoli.
The plethora of luxury menswear stores prompted the city’s authorities to give the street the temporary name of Via dell’Uomo for the recent Milan Fashion Week.
While some suspect it’s only hype, Germany’s fashion trade journal, Textilwirtschaft reckons men of the world are truly taking a serious, new interest in high-quality fashion. Several recent editions of the journal have sported the headline “The New Man”.
“In the beginning it was just a feeling that things were changing. But the more facts we gather together, the more we feel confident in our statement,” says the journal’s editor-in-chief, Michael Werner.
A factor in this development is the rise of gym training and the cult of the body. Sport is influencing every fashion season with football champions such as Cristiano Ronaldo enjoying pop star status in some European countries.
Sportsmen’s hairstyles or the colour of their shoes are influencing what people buy. Online social networks such as Instagram and Facebook are helping spread the idols’ images around the globe
Naturally, we have seen all this before. David Beckham became an icon of the fashion-loving anti-traditional man in the first decade of the century. Beckham became the image of the “metrosexual” man – and he had to withstand some mockery in the process.
So how is all this affecting men’s fashion? January saw the beginning of this year’s fashion week carousel for the 2015/16 autumn/winter season. A look at the collections on show indicated men’s fashion has become multi-faceted.
In London, the British label Burberry Prorsum had a line-up of young bohemians with nerdy glasses, ponchos and long scarves. In Florence, Marni combined elements of fur and colourful feathers in an onslaught against the classic men’s look.
Dsquared2 launched its collection with beefy looking models sporting baby pink garments.
Versace contrasted bulky coats with somewhat feminine touches such as leggings and long woollen pullovers. Even Ermengildo Zegna, once the epitome of the conservative men’s look, has dusted off its image and updated its styling.
Women’s fashion remains a far bigger business than its male counterpart. But Michael Werner is quite sure that will change soon – even if the boys still have a long way to go to catch up with the girls.