The Internet. It’s gonna be huge.
If there was one takeaway from the menswear CEO Summit that Fairchild Fashion Group put on in NYC this week, that was pretty much it. But then, if you’re reading this site, you already knew that. And anyway, there were several takeaways from the day-long event, many of them quite relevant to guys who (like you) follow menswear not because they work in it but because they want to look their best. Here, a few other findings about how you’ll be shopping—and dressing—in the years ahead, culled from my time embedded among the kingpins of men’s retail.
1. There will be more manbags.
Following its juggernaut-like growth over the past 10-15 years, Coach is moving heavily into leather goods for guys. The company actually got its start making wallets and briefcases, and if the expanded men’s offering includes reissues of their original pieces from the ‘40s, well, sign me the hell up.
2. More of you will—wait for it—buy your own clothes.
Bloomingdale’s fashion director Kevin Harter pointed out a very encouraging data point: While only 61 percent of men’s clothing purchase decisions were made by men in 2001, by last year that number had risen to 84 percent. In related news: 16 percent of the grown men in America let someone else pick out their clothes.
3. You will want your new clothes to match your old clothes.
As Net-A-Porter founder Natalie Massanet describes us men, “You want the same things that you already have.” Finally, an explanation for Comer’s closet full of wingtips.
4. You shouldn’t have to keep your obsession with style a secret, but you will.
As well spoken Mr. Porter editor-in-chief Jeremy Langmead sees it, the Web has enabled a generation of “stealth style seekers” to explore the wide and wonderful universe of men’s fashion in the privacy of their own homes or offices, without having to suffer the embarrassment of asking your mate about his suit over drinks down at the pub. Quick, your wife is coming! Click back to ESPN.com!
5. You’ll finally be able to access the contents of the fall 2008 Black Book online.
J.C. Penney has teamed up with Esquire to provide content and in-book promotion for Clad, its answer to Mr. Porter, and the deal includes access to the magazine’s deep back catalog of style advice, as well as content from the magazine’s always fantastic Big Black Book.
6. We are entering a golden age of men’s style.
No one said this exactly, but it’s what I happen to believe. With so many great brands making great clothes, combined with with all these amazing new content-enabled websites on the horizon (including, yes, the one we are developing), you will have no excuse not to dress well.