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Whither New York Fashion Week Men’s?

Posted on 4 August 2015

After spending a decade in the wings of women’s Fashion Week, NYFW: Men’s recently hosted its own singular event. Long overshadowed—and equally overdue by some accounts—skirted by the high profile pomp of annual seasonal global women’s catwalks, men’s collections, and their designers, are finally getting their due.

Last month’s New York show was the culmination of four men’s Spring/Summer ’16 events, with European labels exhibiting in London, Milan and Paris. The themes? Collectively, the four shows reflected an almost “anything goes” attitude, with sensibilities ranging from gender neutral, retro and punk to leisure and fine tailoring.

Based on a NetBase crosstab analysis of select themes below, for SS16 men can expect a big emphasis to be on tailoring, albeit not of the erstwhile stuffy type. While attention to design detail and craft will be witnessed in men’s attire next Spring, it won’t be without a distinct leisurely overtone, likely with sneakers being de rigueur to round out the look.

NYFW: Men’s SS16 Crosstab Analysis

Tailoring and leisure were leitmotifs also echoed at the European Men’s Collections, particularly in Milan and Paris, where the themes of androgyny and gender neutral looks were also prominently weighted, as shown in the NetBase crosstab analysis below.

The Milan and Paris shows were also distinguished by the predominant discussion on designs featuring techniques such as appliqué and other ornamental features generally reserved for women’s apparel.

Global Market Comparison – Themes: FW Men’s SS16 Collections

The analysis below underscores men’s SS16 trends forecast by designers—juxtaposing fine tailoring and leisure—where both ends of the theme spectrum can be seen in the prevailing conversation at NYFW: Men’s, in the dominant social media discussion of John Varvatos’ tailoring and Public School’s leisure motif.

NYFW: Men’s SS16 Selective Labels

Not to be overlooked, another increasingly significant and prevailing theme at all four of the Men’s Collections was Street Style, as revealed in the global market comparison analysis below. In Paris alone, Street Style captured 75% of the social media conversation during FW Men’s Paris, also dominating channels in the other three cities, with the New York show netting 65%.

Global Market Comparison: FW Men’s SS16 Collections—Including Street Style

Whether it’s discussion of a designer’s fans rallying outside his show attired head to toe in the label, fans own riffs, or the literal “street scene,” signs abound that Street Style holds cache for designers look books, as well as a growing cadre of citizen fashion journalists and photographers.

Although it may be too early to predict their success, this summer’s Men’s pageantry stoked social media channels and speculation. Regardless of which designs hit commercial success, one thing is certain. Street design inspiration has unequivocally ignited the imagination of today’s designers, revealing the advent of a new collective design muse.

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