Gone are the days when fashion was mostly about women. These days, men are playing a significant role in the industry and they have a part to play in what they want to wear. Bottom line: men want to look good and with their disposable income, they are looking and buying more. The millennial guys, keen on style, are proving to be a force to be reckoned with shaping the industry and growing the demand for style and attention to detail. Millennial guys in their 20s and 30s are in fact inspired by well-dressed male celebrities and TV shows such as “Mad Men” so it only makes sense that the surge of the menswear brands and stores globally are growing steadily and in some markets more than womenswear.
So what has caused the growth? Men are simply becoming more concerned about their appearance and with the societal norms relaxing when it comes to grooming, the amount men spend on their shoes and clothing is expected to continue to rise. Some other factors include the rise of relaxed office dress codes and the proliferation of social media “selfies.” Men have had to look beyond the black/navy/grey suit and discover what else they can wear.
With womenswear influenced by menswear and vice versa, the influence of men’s fashion cannot be understated and it is for these reasons that we want to dedicate this month to them. Of course, with the rise of interest in menswear comes the greater need for fashion designers dedicating their craft to the fit of man. From Ozwald Boateng to the cinematic influence of Tom Ford, men deserve our attention just as much and perhaps even more. Although men will not go for shopping sprees with their boys, they are buying more and looking for places that cater to them.
Do men want to wear print suits with matching print bags and shoes? Do they want to be multicolored? Do they want to find the perfect suit or do they simply want to wear chinos and a t-shirt in monochrome colours? With men bring more practical in fashion (and everything really) than women, do we really cater to them in design and understand their needs?
Menswear in Kenya is also growing and a necessary part of this industry, one that cannot be ignored. Fashion Weeks internationally used to have one day for menswear but with the growing interest, menswear is no longer at the tail end with 3 days Fashion Weeks dedicated to them from New York to Cape Town.
With men being more cautious and knowledgeable of what they want to wear and how they want to be perceived, why not delve a little more into the world of men. We have previously covered Kenya menswear designers such as belt designer, Mugo Muna, sneaker brand Enzi Footwear and Manciny Migwi.
What better way to get an understanding than to look at the menswear fashion designers in Kenya and Africa more broadly, peak into the latest designs hitting the runways and the street fashion influences. This month, we will look into the latest news in men’s style, tips and tricks and must-haves for this season.
Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM