The British Fashion Council’s fashion week focused on men only, London Collections: Men, kicked off yesterday in London (according to a recent study by the Victoria and Albert Museum, the birthplace of men’s luxury fashion).  The men’s spring/summer 2014 collection is shown over three days.  Despite only debuting in June of last year, the London Collections: Men has been so successful that it is already considered a fashion week fixture and displays an impressive mix of avant garde, well-established and international brands on the run-ways.  Fashion stalwarts Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford have been showing their men’s collections in London since June 2012.  This year Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo and the Rag & Bone  are moving their collections to London from the more prestigious Milan and New York fashion weeks.

It’s unsurprising that the fashion world is focussing on men considering the rapid growth in the men’s apparel market in recent years.  Bain projected at the end of last year that the figures for 2012 will show a 10% growth in men’s luxury apparel sales globally and that the industry will generate 26 billion Euros in revenues in 2012; that’s just 1 billion Euros less than women’s luxury apparel!  And the growth is not expected to slow down any time soon; a recent report by Marketing Week shows that the market is expected to grow by 11% in the UK between 2012 and 2017.  Other countries such as China and the U.S. are experiencing a similar phenomenon.  It’s widely acknowledged that one of the reasons for the growth is the boost in online sales due to simplified e-commerce platforms and accessible interactive technology.  The online shopping experience suits men.  According to Marketing Week’s report, men care more about the “convenience of the experience”.

At the FT’s Business of Luxury Summit, which the CovBrands team attended in Vienna last week, American Express presented interesting data on the demographic of first time buyers of luxury apparel.  The take-home for brands was clear, according to American Express:  focus your marketing efforts on young men.

The CovBrands team is excited to be witnessing this new trend — we’ll be taking notes this week from the front row at London collections: Men!