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The inside intel on menswear during London Collections: Men

By Vivian Hendriksz


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On the dawn of London Collections: Men, the international kick off for men’s fashion weeks around the world, FashionUnited took a closer look at the menswear market in the UK to better understand what makes LC:M tick. Below we have compiled a list with the top-need-to-know facts anyone who is anybody should know about the menswear in the UK and London Collections: Men.

London Collections: Men is now bigger...

Currently in its seventh season and recently expanded from three to four days, London Collections: Men is set to be bigger and better than ever. Three official venues will be used for LC:M which will see seventy-seven designers come together to show their spring/summer 2016 collections - a 67 percent increase since the first LC:M, which took place at St. James's Palace in June, 2012. 68 designers will be presenting their collections in the designer showrooms, which is a 50 percent growth since the inaugural event.

“Men is one of the biggest global celebrations of menswear, if not the biggest,” says Anusha Couttigane, senior analyst at Conlumino, market research firm. “It attracts designers and fashion lovers from all over the world and, interestingly, attracts a higher proportion of high street labels and affordable designers than we tend to see during the mainstream London Fashion Week, which is more targeted at luxury labels.”

50 percent of the designers/creative directors presenting their collections studied in London, with 19 percent of them attending the prestigious Central Saint Martins. In total 42 events, 32 catwalk shows and 33 presentations will make up the LC:M spring/summer 2016 schedule. 24 brands presenting on schedule have been in business for less than five years; 42 brands have been in business for fewer than ten years; 24 brands showing have been in business for over forty years and 11 brands have been in business for over 100 years.

...and better than ever this season...

With Topman opening the show schedule for LC:M spring/summer 2016 today, highlights for the men's fashion week include the launch of the first menswear collection from Henry Holland, the designer behind the House of Holland, the collection debut from former Gucci designer, John Ray for British heritage label Dunhill and first presentation from Lathbridge, the luxury footwear brand launched by Patrick Cox earlier this year.

“By hosting LC:M, the British Fashion Council (BFC) has helped to establish London as both a primary shopping destination for men’s wear and a global leader for menswear trends,” adds Couttigane. Newcomers to the show schedule include US sweetheart Tommy Hilfiger, Graeme Gaughan, the founder of the label Tourne de Transmission and Austrian designer Raimund Berthold. Established brands returning to show at LC:M include Alexander McQueen, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Joseph, Margaret Howell, Paul Smith and Tom Ford.

The BFC also seized the growing momentum surrounding men’s in the UK to organise the presentations of pre-collections following LC:M, which will run from June 15 to 17. A new addition to the LC:M schedule this edition is the 'LCM 10,' ten events which will be open to the public, including the Fashion Crawl on Duke Street and a live catwalk show on Jermyn Street, St James's which will feature brands such as Barbour International, Osprey and Sunspel.

...leading to a menswear market boom in the UK

Last year the menswear market grew by 4.5 percent, hitting 298 billion pounds in global sales compared to its female counterpart which increased 3.7 percent to 448 billion pounds. By 2019, menswear apparel market is predicted to reach 325 billion pounds, according to the latest data from Euromonitor International. 12.9 billion pounds from the menswear market alone contributed to the UK economy in 2014 - a 18 percent increase from 2008. Menswear sales in the UK have grown almost 5 percent over the past year as more retailers focus on the booming market, reported Mintel.

“One of the main driving factors of the menswear market has been the response of the tailoring industry in the light of the recession,” explains Couttigane. “Britain has a long history of tailoring and, although the consumer market has had to struggle through years of austerity, the tailoring sector has really thrived – mainly because the quality of tailoring designs coming out of the market has encouraged menswear shoppers to trade up to stylish, longer-lasting designs that have seen them through the recession against the backdrop of a saturated market where consumers are more likely to buy into cheap, short-term fashion solutions.”

The overall menswear market in the UK, which includes men’s outerwear, men’s underwear and men’s accessories grew 3.6 percent in 2014, and Conlumino expects the market to increase by 4.1 percent during 2015 to 11.9 billion pounds - an achievement which would outperform the overall apparel and accessories market, which is predicted to grow 3.9 percent by the end of this year, making menswear in UK a hot commodity.

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