In 2011 and 2012, male customers showed an increased enthusiasm for clothing and fashion, and designers and retailers took note. According to major global management consultants Bain & Co., the last two years saw “a strong men-ization of the market,” and 2012’s menswear sales are expected to have risen 10% since 2011.
“We are pushing our men’s wear because we have encouraging results and it’s a business that has a lot of potential,” said Gianluca Brozzetti, CEO of the Roberto Cavalli group. According to Brozzetti, Cavalli saw a 50% increase in men’s sales between January and November last year. Versace’s men’s division also saw a 46% retail increase in 2012, and expects this trend to continue in 2013.
Encouraged by these numbers, retailers have been eager to pinpoint what, exactly, male shoppers want. The consensus? Men want classic quality fabrics, precise tailoring, and some—but not too much—novelty and innovation. Eric Jennings, Saks Fifth Avenue’s director of men’s fashion, says that their average male shopper “is definitely more savvy than he was a year or two ago…and is much more comfortable with personal style, correct fit and accessorizing his look.”