Fashion industry woos male shoppers
Luxury designer labels increasingly opening men’s stand-alone stores.
New York Fashion Week is traditionally dominated by designers of women's clothing, but the fashion world is increasingly focusing its attention on men.
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Over the last few years, a number of luxury designer labels have opened stores for men, including Hermès, Bottega Veneta, Christian Louboutin, Club Monaco, Ralph Lauren and Ugg, The New York Times reported in 2012. Lululemon Athletica, a brand associated with yoga pants-wearing women, this summer announced plans to open men’s stand-alone stores in 2016.
Other stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, have remodeled their men’s floors.
“Men often shopped in the past when they needed to replace something,” Tom Kalenderian, the executive vice president of menswear at Barneys, told New York Magazine. “Today they’re avid collectors, owning more than one watch, pair of sunglasses, bag, and so on. The pursuit of new and exclusive items has fueled growth.”
There's money to be made in pursuing the fashion-conscious male shopper. Menswear sales increased at the same rate as women's apparel sales -- 4.2 percent in 2012, according to NPD Group's Consumer Tracking Service.
Online stores are taking note of the trend. A new Los Angeles-based men’s online retailer 20Jeans earlier this year raised $1 million to fund its website. Shopbop, a fashion e-commerce site, on Tuesday introduced East Dane, a shopping destination for men.
"We saw an opportunity in the market for an approachable shopping environment that is tailored specifically for the male perspective and their shopping habits," Jeff Yurcisin, the president of Shopbop and East Dane, said in a press release. "We understand this is not about cloning Shopbop for men, but about creating a customized experience for guys with the ultimate combination of merchandise, customer service and usability that meets their needs."
Photo: The Ralph Lauren Men's Shop at Saks Fifth Avenue (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)