“Age means little to the hungers that nag within a committed entrepreneur. Over the past year the ongoing saga of George Zimmer has proved that.”

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“Hermès has launched a dedicated Web site for its men’s universe featuring irreverent lists to highlight items from its ready-to-wear, shoe, leather goods and silk collections.”

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“Using a mixture of algorithms and human stylists, London-based Thread works on the premise that a lot of men hate clothes shopping, however much they like stylish attire. The online styling service claims 200,000 customers since it was founded in 2012 and has this week hit a significant funding milestone with the closure of an $8 million Series A round led by Balderton Capital.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Thread

“The Dandy Lab is the best of both worlds: men’s fashion inspired by decades past and forward-looking tech that defines the entire experience. The pop-up has wonderfully crafted collections on board, browsed by seeing and touching but also by the swiping of a touchscreen.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Dandy Lab

“What’s it like to experience Day 1 of New York’s first ever fashion week for dudes? Pretty awesome. We got an inside view into New York Fashion Week: Men’s on Tuesday — by shooting with a drone of course. Aerial photography site Da Drone Boyz hovered over the chic, exciting event.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - NYFW Mens

“Bonobos is hardly a household name. The online-only-turned-ecommerce/brick-and-mortar menswear retailer was founded in 2007 to offer guys better fitting clothes in a no-fuss, hassle free transaction.”

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Image source: The Guardian

There’s no doubt that menswear is booming at home and away: the UK men’s clothing market has seen sales rise by 22% in the past five years to reach £13.5bn in 2014, growing at a faster rate than womenswear, according to global marketing intelligence agency Mintel. As Mintel also revealed at the opening reception for London Collections: Men (LC:M), young men are equally as fashion conscious as young women, with 50% of both males and females in the UK aged 16-24 purchasing clothes in the last three months of 2014.

For the majority of young people with their eyes on the latest menswear trends, their first glimpse of the fashion shows in London or Milan this week will be via social media. Here’s our rundown of the biggest social media stories of menswear month so far – showing why the canniest brands are those that know their Instagram from their “insiders-only”.

Calvin Klein Gave Us Topless Models Off the Runway

As reported by Hannah Marriott at the Guardian, the crowd loitering outside Calvin Klein’s show at Milan Fashion Week on Sunday looked more like One Direction fans than high-fashion fans. The reason was the brand’s savviness in casting male models with huge Instagram followings (largely teenage girls), including Jesse James Duval, Filip Hrivnak and Andre Doyley. The brand also posted Abercrombie & Fitch-style, candid photos of the men in their Calvin Klein undies prior to the show – keen fans could even follow Jesse on Snapchat during his day of fittings.

Henry Holland Created a Hashtag to Remember

Henry Holland’s excitement about collaborating with legendary photographer Martin Parr for S/S 16 infused his brand’s social media presence in the build-up to LC:M, with the unforgettable hashtag #MartinFuckingParr.

After House of Holland’s hotly anticipated menswear collection got its first airing on Sunday in an Instagram-friendly presentation (no moving models = perfect posts), the collection was instantly available to buy on the brand’s newly redesigned website. It may have crashed at the time due to demand, but the collection was still a big digital win for Holland.

“Maybe we can monetise all the attention and traction you get around a show,” he told After all, “three months later, they’ve totally forgotten and found something else”.

The New LC:M Ambassadors Waved a Flag – Or a Smartphone

Joining David Gandy, Dermot O’Leary, Nick Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah for S/S 16, British F1 champ Lewis Hamilton has been added to the current roster of ambassadors for London Collections: Men. Hamilton comes with 1.4 million followers on Instagram and 2.8 million on Twitter, giving a new degree of exposure to the exclusive events and front-row shots of fashion week.

The British Fashion Council also confirmed its first ever International Menswear Ambassador: Chinese model and actor Hu Bing. GQ editor Dylan Jones called him “a perfect choice” for the role, with a knowledge of the Chinese market and great fashion sense. The decision goes to show that menswear weeks are truly on the global stage in the digital era. Brands like Burberry – which has marketed itself heavily in the People’s Republic – will be hoping that Hu Bing’s appointment will help them translate the London look when he goes home to fashion’s biggest growth market.

Reported by Claire Healy

Frank & Oak, Montreal

Canadian menswear e-tailer Frank and Oak has launched ‘In my City’ – a two-week online campaign designed to bring six, long-term bricks-and-mortar pop-up stores to locations across the US. Taking its cues from well-known crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, the brand is asking US fans to cast a vote for their preferred destinations – but not without the rather unusual step of first ‘investing’ in the company. Consumers can only vote by ‘backing’ their request with the purchase of a gift card.

Via a dedicated microsite dubbed Collective Impact, ‘backers’ may choose from six different price levels – ranging from $10 to $3,000 – which are then processed as gift cards. More money doesn’t equate to more of a say on where the store is launched, but it does garner bigger rewards when it does. Investments of more than $50 warrant rewards packages/bonuses such as a free tote bag, the chance to attend a store’s opening event, dinner with the founders, or a trip to the brand’s HQ in Montreal. If the store doesn’t open in their preferred city, the gift card amount is refunded to the backer.

The strategy has garnered interest from some consumers (at the time of writing, Manhattan had 269 backers versus 22 for Seattle – equating to $14,830 and $1,130, respectively). However, it may risk alienating future consumers and potential ‘light-touch advocates/influencers’ – consumers who are interested in engaging with the brand, but resent the need to make a purchase before the brand entertains their opinion.

Echoing the brand’s six existing pop-up stores in Canada, each outlet promises to run for 12-18 months. This gives visitors not only the opportunity to try on and see products up-close, but also to connect with the creative community via talks, lessons, and other in-store events.

Guest post by Alison Gough, Editor & Katie Baron, Head of Retail


“Fendi is to launch e-commerce in March, with initial deliveries to 28 European countries, chairman and chief executive officer Pietro Beccari told WWD backstage before the Roman firm’s fall men’s show in Paris.”

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For anyone in doubt that London menswear has truly come of age in 2015, then the confident outings at LC:M this week proved the case. Moreover, the facts and figures demonstrate that the swagger isn’t just for show: menswear sales have grown almost 5% in the last year, and style forecasters are estimating that the men’s fashion market will grow by 27% between 2013 and 2018 to reach £16.4 billion (Mintel, 2014). Moreover, the week saw many digital firsts at presentations and on the runway – demonstrating a focus on innovation that can only add to the witty, inventive and desirable men’s fashion on show.

Bringing the runway experience straight to the customer was as much an emphasis at LC:M as it has increasingly become in women’s ready-to-wear in recent seasons – with both established brands and more under-the-radar designers employing live streaming and social media to increase exposure. Tapping into an increasingly online-shopping savvy male customer, Burberry not only live-streamed its AW15 outing on Monday, but allowed customers to order clothes online immediately afterwards. Danish menswear brand Soulland went one step further, creating a specially designed app that attendees could download immediately: allowing them to film the models, and providing exclusive content to be shared on social media platforms.

No ticket was required at the Pop Up at No. 9 – a temporary menswear shop in Seven Dials featuring a range of different brands curated by BBSC’s Daniel Peters. In collaboration with The Dandy Lab, the store environment brought the online world seamlessly into the offline, with interactive digital plinths and smart mannequins giving visitors a glimpse of what could become the norm in our stores.

Wearables also featured on the runways of LC:M. London upstarts Ada + Nik have always been known for their punk take on technical fabrics, but this week saw a hotly-anticipated first: the unveiling of the ‘Narrative jacket’, the world’s first leather jacket with an in-built camera. Teaming up with Narrative Clip – who have been producing wearable cameras since 2012 – the jacket captures images and location data without any conscious interaction. Oh, and it resembles a totally good-looking biker jacket – as opposed to a cyborgian gimmick that no respectable East Londoner would be seen dead in.

In order to assess LC:M’s digital strategy from head to toe, however, one shouldn’t forget the all-important hairdo. ‘The Fudge Fix’ – not to be confused with a delicious-sounding Vancouver eatery (“as much fudge as you can eat!”) ­– was Fudge Professional’s pop-up salon, where guests could capture their hair looks in an interactive photo booth to share on their social channels. Mmmm, #FudgeFix.

Reported by Claire Healy

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