As the new year kicks off so begins London Fashion Week: Men's. LFWM highlights established and up-and-coming British and international menswear designers. Designers present collections over 4 days starting January 5th through January 8th. Expect to see collections featuring modern streetwear, stylish tailoring and refined outerwear. British GQ will be providing extensive coverage each day. Follow along to stay up-to-date on the shows and latest news. Pay close attention to what is shown as many of these looks will make it to a retailer near you in about 6 months.
Projected sales growth
LFWM started as a way to specifically highlight menswear. Often during London Fashion Week, which is held in February, menswear isn't given the attention it deserves. By carving out a few days to focus solely on menswear, designers are able to better present their collections to buyers and media to tell a cohesive story without being overshadowed by other events. Menswear sales continue to grow year over year and it demands attention in the marketplace. According to data from retail analytics company, Edited, "menswear is forecasted to grow at a faster rate than womenswear over the next three years, with net gains of 2.3 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. Additionally, the menswear market is estimated to be valued at $33 billion by 2020, an increase of 14 percent from 2015".
Impact of social media
Based on the expected growth of menswear over the next few years. Designers and retailers are placing more emphasis on cultivating their relationships. Part of that strategy includes driving sales through social media. Social media allows brands to build awareness among consumers and influencers. Social media is also more accessible to the guy who would never pick up a men's fashion magazine. Digital marketing firm, Digiday, published a report on the link between social media and men. Men are more comfortable using social media, especially Instagram, to get style ideas or brand suggestions. Social media allows a number of diverse perspectives to be presented in an immediate, direct way that influences men's shopping choices. Combined with always having to "be on", men are more aware of their appearance and what they are wearing.
LFWM and beyond
With the anticipated growth in menswear and the strategic implications of social media, showcases like LFWM and others, have become increasingly important to the menswear industry. Creating a network of designers, retailers and social media influencers is critical to the overall success of the menswear market. All these elements lend themselves to driving men's fashion and assisting men in developing their own style point-of-view.