Women’s Brands Now Designing Menswear

Well I guess we all saw this coming.  In a day and age where companies are all  trying to procure the consumer in every aspect of their lives it is not at all surprising that fashion brands, that previously were known exclusively as a women’s wear or menswear brand, are now branching out and trying to do it all.  We shall see how successful some of these will ultimately be.

Women’s Fashion Brands Are Rushing to Design for Men

For Adweek

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Men, it is clear, have outgrown the stereotype of the reluctant shopper. “There was always a fashion market—what they used to call a ‘metrosexual’ market—that could sustain designer brands in a healthy way in bigger cities in America, but in the last few years there’s been a much wider acceptance of fashion among regular guys that previously were shy about it,” says Esquire’s fashion director Nick Sullivan. “There isn’t the stigma attached to making an effort that there used to be.”

The shift in men’s perceptions about fashion can be attributed to a number of factors. Men’s style blogs like The Sartorialist and A Continuous Lean have become must-reads. Online shopping has made designer apparel more accessible, while helping guys avoid dreaded trips to the store. And as they’ve become more fitness conscious, men are now more invested in what they put on their backs.

Celebrities are helping, too. Actors, not just actresses, are now name-dropping designers on the red carpet. At this year’s Golden Globe Awards, all nine celebrities donning Prada were men, reported The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman. Even more importantly, many athletes—the ultimate guys’ guys—are becoming nearly as well known for their style savvy as their sports skills. “Every time we shoot an athlete, they want to talk fashion with me,” says GQ’s creative director Jim Moore.

It’s hardly any wonder, then, why brands that have exclusively or mainly catered to the fairer sex are ramping up their efforts to reach gents. Consider Tory Burch, the popular women’s designer, which recently hired Coach’s former svp of men’s design, Jeffrey Uhl, to oversee a new men’s accessories line, set to debut as early as spring 2015. Michael Stars, known for its women’s knitwear, is launching its first men’s collection this month, something co-founder Suzanne Lerner calls a “natural next step for our brand.” Clover Canyon, purveyor of women’s apparel and swimwear featuring bright, graphic prints, previewed menswear during New York’s Fashion Week.

Not just American designers are jumping on the trend. Moschino showed its first men’s collection in June, as did luxury lingerie line La Perla, which is readying a line of silk kimonos and other garments that the wives of its male customers may well find themselves coveting. Whistles, a high street chain in the U.K. that recently dipped its toe in the U.S. market, is launching a line of men’s apparel this fall. Even Spice Girl-turned-footballer’s wife-turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham was quoted in the British press last February as saying, “I’d love to do menswear at some point, absolutely.”

Some of the biggest investment in menswear is happening at companies that see potential in growing existing albeit limited men’s lines. Take Michael Kors, which has already found massive success in the accessible luxury space with its affordable yet aspirational women’s apparel and accessories. While the brand has included a smattering of men’s pieces among its expansive women’s offerings for more than a decade (menswear represents about 5 percent of its sales), the designer is now making a play for a bigger share of the men’s market.

Last month, Michael Kors CEO John Idol announced the company’s intention to grow its menswear into a $1 billion business by 2017 with the help of Mark Brashear, its new head of menswear and the former CEO of Hugo Boss. Idol detailed plans for Michael Kors’ first freestanding men’s store next year, noting that as many as 500 male-focused retail shops could be in its future. Meanwhile, the company’s forthcoming flagship store in New York’s SoHo will include a full floor dedicated to men.

While Michael Kors looks to menswear to bolster its already booming business, rival Coach hopes an expanded menswear offering will help turn around its sluggish sales. Last year, it hired former Mulberry and Loewe designer Stuart Vevers to lead its transition from a mall brand into one with more fashion credibility. After adding some much-needed refinement to its women’s accessories and showing its first women’s apparel collection during New York’s Fashion Week, Vevers is now turning his eye to the men’s category. This fall, male shoppers will find a much more stylish and luxurious selection of shoes and leather goods. By next year, one can expect to see a full line of men’s apparel.

The retailer’s focus on men is already helping the bottom line. In an August earnings call, the company reported that while overall sales slumped 7 percent to $1.14 billion in the fourth quarter, men’s sales showed significant growth, reaching $700 million for the year ending in June versus $100 million in 2010. By 2017, CEO Victor Luis projects that number will rise to $1 billion.

A similar tactic is being employed by brands like Prada, which plans to nearly double menswear sales to €1.5 billion (about $2 billion) in the next three to five years and open 50 men’s stores to make up for declining women’s sales. Luxury conglomerate LVMH has spent $135 million to expand its luxury footwear label Berluti into a broader apparel and accessories brand. Richemont, the owner of luxe brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc, decided last year against selling off smaller labels such as Dunhill and instead increased its investment.

The obvious question in all this: Will men be willing to wear a Tory Burch shirt or La Perla loafers or a Victoria Beckham suit? “I think it depends on the brand and how feminine it is in terms of people’s awareness,” says Sullivan. “I don’t know that men will buy Tory Burch because it’s a famous women’s brand, but I don’t know if they will automatically be put off of it, either.”

Marketing will be key, adds Moore. “I think you really have to be in it to win it if you start designing menswear,” he says. “In the past, when some of the womenswear designers did men’s, they would just sprinkle it into their women’s boutiques, hoping to entice women to buy a little something for their man. If someone like Tory is looking to build her own men’s business, she’ll have to figure out how to set it apart from the women’s business on a retail basis. I’m not so sure that guys are going to go deep into a women’s store to find something for themselves.”

Designers and retailers are taking note. Some, including Kors, are opening more men’s stores or creating men’s-only spaces in flagship stores. To lure even the most reluctant shopper, many are creating a club-like atmosphere and adding features like the cocktail bar inside the Tod’s Milan flagship or the barbershop at Dolce & Gabbana’s men’s store in London.

Even men who prefer to shop online (according to NPD, online purchases of men’s apparel last year grew 19 percent year over year and now represent 14 percent of all men’s apparel sales) are getting the guys-only treatment. Women’s e-tailers like Net-a-Porter and Shopbop have spun off Mr Porter and East Dane, respectively, men’s sites that combine a vast selection of designer goods with editorial content to help guide men in their shopping journey. “Some men are definitely still more comfortable with hiding behind their keyboards to make their choices, but it also requires them to know more,” as Sullivan puts it.

Those retailers who do it right may see a rich payoff. As Moore explains, “Men are completely different customers than women. If they find something that they love, they will keep going back to that designer. With men, it’s all about loyalty.”

xo,

PB

Article from Adweek


The British Are Coming

Gieves & Hawkes is coming across the pond and into our own backyard. That’s right! Over 200 years (243 to be exact) of Bespoke goodness is about to be on our shores.  Not only is it one of the oldest Savile Row tailors, it is also tailor to the Royals!

The thing I really love about this company is that even though they are almost as old as the history of the Bespoked suit, they also have a very modern and contemporary approach  (now thanks to their new CCO, Jason Basmajian), there is much less stuffiness here than one might expect.

Bergdorf Goodman will be the brand’s exclusive retailer (looks like a trip to New York.) They will offer off-the-rack suits, separates, outerwear and offer bespoke and made-to-measure services.

Here’s what we have to look forward to:

Logo

 

 

 

 

Interior

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formal

 

 

 

 

 

Spring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suit 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outerwear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B&W Ad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tailoring

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ad 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xo,

PB

 

Photos courtesy of:

Gieves & Hawkes

Google

 


WHEW!!!

…yeah, it has been a minute, but as in fashion, lets not waste time trying reconstruct what went before, let’s get onto what is happening now…shall we! :)

Okay, it’s definitely summertime outside.  And though the ones of us in the always hot south have had some cooler temperatures, those days are beginning to give way to the real heat.

And of course there is no better style than to look cool when it’s hot, and of course to look great at the pool and beach, every chance you get.

M. NII

…created by designer JOHN MOORE,  got its origins from a Hawaiian tailoring shop, by the same name, from the 40’s that, along with other tailoring, designed custom trunks. Moore took this idea,  expanding the brand to include tees, pants and sweaters.

mnii.com

mnii

M. NII Board Shorts

M. NII 2

M. NII

M. NII Mainland Stripe Shirt

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M. NII Sweater

M. NII Sweater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xo,

PB


Maleficent

Poster

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this Disney flick due out in 2014.

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First of all it is starring one of my favorite crushes and actress’ Angelina Jolie, not only is she a very good actress but a humanitarian as well as quite a fashion Dandi herself.

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Now as for Maleficent I have had a crush on her since I first laid eyes on her back in the ’70’s.  What is it about a powerful, maleficent woman that is so attractive? Who’s to say.  But I know I’m not the only one.

 

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I’m sure the day this opens the theaters will be packed with little kids and gays from all walks of life, and there is absolutely no question as to what the big Halloween costume of 2014 will be…

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Heck, I might even go as her myself!

xo,

PB

 

All photo’s courtesy of google.com and Disney.


Rainy Days and Mondays…

It’s been pouring down rain in my neck of the woods. So much so the ever popular music event ACL got rained out or rather flooded out yesterday.
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When the rains come the last thing you ever want is to be without your fabulous raincoat to keep you dry or at least  keep you looking good while getting wet.  So here are some style ideas and brands to help you on your way to a dandiliciously dry Fall and onward into Winter!
Me in my London Fog.

Me in my London Fog.

Gieves & Hawkes

Gieves & Hawkes

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Harrods Italian Made Raincoats

Harrods Italian Made Raincoats

 

Me and my boots in the rain.

Me and my boots in the rain.

 

Stutterheim

Stutterheim

The Look.

The Look.

 

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ASOS Trench

ASOS Trench

 

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ASOS Trench

ASOS Trench

 

Stutterheim raincoats

Stutterheim raincoats

 

Burberry

Burberry

 

Rains

Rains

 

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10

 

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Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo

 

Stay dry my friends!

PB

 

Photos courtesy of PB and Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


LookBook 5

Though I am a spring baby and always look forward to shedding layers when that time rolls around, loving fashion as I do, I admit that there is no better time for putting your best style foot forward than in the fall and winter months.

If you can ;ayer like this and not look like a stuffed turkey I say go for it!

If you can layer like this and not look like a stuffed turkey I say go for it!

 

Tim Coppens F/W 2013

Tim Coppens F/W 2013

 

Gieves & Hawkes SS2014

Gieves & Hawkes SS2014

 

Simple and gorgeous!

Simple and gorgeous!

 

Cashmere Melton Varsity Jacket

Cashmere Melton Varsity Jacket

 

Suspenders are the style accent piece that sets you apart.

Suspenders are the style accent piece that sets you apart.

 

"I don't always smoke, but when I do..."

“I don’t always smoke, but when I do…”

 

The always fabulous Esther Quek!

The always fabulous Esther Quek!

 

The Fem version.

The Fem version.

 

Aymeline Valade

Aymeline Valade

 

Don't be afraid to take it there.

Don’t be afraid to take it there.

 

PB

 

Photos courtesy of the

fabulous people of Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fall is upon us

Okay, maybe it’s not yet here and now but it is coming.  I mean Labor Day is tomorrow or if you are just waking up and reading this, today.  And no you don’t have to put away your whites (shoes or clothes) if you don’t want to but I’m certainly gearing up for wearing something besides shorts and a t-shirt so here are some of my picks for your next shopping spree, as well as some style ideas.  Enjoy!

 

Zonkey Boot

Zonkey Boots

 

Fairisle scarves by Drake’s London  Lambswool, hand knot fringes Handmade in England

Fairisle scarves by Drake’s London
Lambswool, hand knot fringes
Handmade in England

 

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Layering done well.

 

High-top Converse are always a hit!

High-top Converse are always a hit!

 

 

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Some accessory ideas to go with that Saint Harridan suit.

Add color with socks.

Add color with socks.

 

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It’s nice not to always wear a jacket.

 

Leather is in top or bottom (Viktor & Rolf)

Leather is in top or bottom (Viktor & Rolf)

 

Take your style up a notch, even with the basics. (Giorgio Armani)

Take your style up a notch, even with the basics. (Giorgio Armani)

 

PB

 

 

 

 

 


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