As the classic song goes, “It’s a man’s man’s world!” I’m not trying to be a misogynistic prick since I value my life and I don’t want to be in the crosshairs of gender equality advocates. And besides, as per the late great James Brown, it would be nothing without a woman or a girl.
But that’s beside the point. I’m merely stating a fact--at least from an online presence and fashion standpoint. Case in point: According to the new study by IBISWorld, menswear is the fastest growing online sales category since 2010. That is a fact, and that is beyond contestation!
And it’s only getting better. With a sizeable 17.6 percent annual growth—a figure way above other sectors—menswear is projected to top the list again next year and the years to come. It is even estimated that by 2019, sales from menswear will contribute a whopping $40bn to the global apparel market.
That’s not too shabby if you ask me. Menswear and men’s fashion in general have come a long way. I can even go so far as saying that it has ‘arrived’ in the fashion industry. Now, the fashion industry isn’t only dominated by women—not that I was complaining before. It’s just that it’s refreshing to see that men’s fashion concerns, tendencies and aspirations are more represented now more than ever. And we can thank the internet and social media for that!
The advent of internet and the explosion of social media have democratized the fashion industry in every sense of the word. They’ve created a platform where the fashion-conscious men can go to and look for the latest trends in menswear. Also, the proliferation of blogs/websites that are solely dedicated for men’s fashion have created easy avenues for men to get started and get introduced into the world of clothing and style.
The social media on the other hand has created a ‘selfie culture’ that fuels the growth of the menswear market. Popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are so visually-driven that we’ve become very self-conscious of how we look day in and day out—men and women included.
Such phenomenon might be deemed superficial or trivial on the surface but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The popularity of menswear only means one thing: More and more men have come to realize that ‘self-presentation’ is an important social and business tool. Wearing the right outfit during an interview or a date could mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. It is an important knowledge whether you’re fashion conscious or not.
The fashion industry is a progressive and volatile environment. Longevity is very difficult or nearly impossible to achieve. Trends can come and go in the blink of an eye especially if they don’t have redeeming and long-lasting value to them. But menswear or men’s fashion in general is not a flash in the pan type of thing. It is here to stay as it’s not just a trend but a movement—a movement that empowers men every fashionable piece of clothing at a time.