Menswear is in the middle of a boom. And, it’s womenswear designers from around the planet who are forging its wildly-imaginative future, giving it the exact same type of creative legitimacy that women’s fashion has long appreciated. Nonetheless, it makes one wonder if this reinvention is an attempt to rethink the new-age fashion brand as we understand it? Is this being done to increase their product categories? Or just to grow their revenues?
Rimzim Dadu functions with innovative materials for menswear
Indian designer tags such as Rimzim Dadu, Great Earth, Rahul Mishra, Lovebirds, Bodice and Amit Aggarwal, among others, have recently forayed into men’s clothes –a change that’s happening in a time when the idea about what is considered an appropriate garb for a guy is also changing.
Bodice makes utilitarian clothing for men
Aneeth Arora, the silent mastermind behind péro recalls,”Once I started my new 10 years back, there were only six appearances for men on the runway. I used to think menswear does not have the room to be creative, but I was incorrect. Now, its share within our company has increased manifold. We take part in Pitti Uomo (among the greatest trade fairs for men’s style ) in Florence regularly and péro’s menswear is available at some very covetable international shops as well.”
Good Earth started menswear last year
Like Arora, fashion designer Kanika Goyal found her eponymous label by presenting both menswear and womenswear. While she ceased its production for a year and a half, Goyal decided to reintroduce the segment. “I was getting a great deal of requests to customise designs. And, now it’s not only girls that are sending me screenshots of looks they enjoy on Instagram. Guys do it too,” she reveals.
Simon Porte Jacquemus launched menswear in 2018
Known for the use of pristine texture design and unconventional materials such as metal cable to produce garments, Delhi-based designer Rimzim Dadu’s menswear debuted about a year ago. “It took me three-four decades to conceptualise what it ought to look like. And, I noticed a market difference for statement clothes for men together with a change in mindsets as well. Men no longer feel the necessity to fit into a mould for macho,” says Dadu.
International Woolmark? Prize-winning designer Ruchika Sachdeva agrees. She reasons that the business is going through this shift since,”Personal identity is taking precedence over social ones. The rigid constraints of what men should wear and what women should not wear are barely important anymore, and mercifully so,” she says.
A GENDER MULTIVERSE
Many new-age brands find that placing clothes by sex is a dated concept. For Resham Karamchandani of The Pot Plant, clothing hasn’t been about gender. “Growing up we wore beautiful hand-me-downs of my aunts, brother and father. It had been all about relaxation. We operate with bandhani and shibori, traditionally seen as allegedly female techniques in saris and dupattas, but we all strive to innovate patterns that appeal to everyone without undermining the authenticity of the craft,” she explains.
Celine established menswear for the first time in 74 Decades
Medha Khosla, founder of Anomaly, also notes how brands are increasingly celebrating gender-fluid clothing while knocking down traditional interpretations of men’s and womenswear. “Anomaly’s kurta shirt dress, workwear tops, drawstring pants and coats are worn by both men and women through time,” says the designer that made inroads to menswear in 2017.
Delhi-based tag Anomaly reimagines workwear for men “A couple of years ago, relaxation and utility was hardly the priority for womenswear layouts. Similarly, creative possibilities for guys were restricted due to brands commercial reasons as guys would not have bought, say, an all-pink lawsuit,” she says.
Prabal Gurung presented menswear in NYFW Spring 2020
The commercial viability of menswear is surely difficult to ignore. “And, men are more faithful as customers than women,” says Deepshikha Khanna, head of apparel at Great Earth, the brand that started its first shop in Mumbai more than two years ago. “Many of the women shopping at Great Earth wanted to get clothing for their husbands or fathers. So it made sense for people to start menswear this past year,” reveals Khanna.
In 2016, Alessandro Michele, the visionary behind Gucci, declared that the separation of the sexes on the runway for the Italian home will be over. Michele’s iteration of all menswear was inventive, disruptive and made way for additional luxury conglomerates that have viewed menswear as a limiting field previously.
Unisex clothing is the way ahead for many brands
In January 2019 Celine released its first men’s collection in its 74-year history. The series presented slim-cut tailoring and overcoats that switched between tweed, cashmere and parkas on the runway.
NYC-based Prabal Gurung, that has been making womenswear for decades, started menswear at September 2018, and the Olsen sisters rolled out menswear at The Row a month later. Furthermore, Simon Porte Jacquemus presented his bizarre take on menswear in 2018 after announcing the new line by wearing a hoodie into the runway that read”New job l’homme Jacquemus”.
Unisex clothes is the way ahead for many brands
Fashion has straddled between the struggle of the genders. But, this is changing.The artisanal and concept-driven sartorial statements by guys in 2020 can partially be credited to how male actors are interacting with clothing. We are living in a time where celebrity Billy Porter isn’t scared to put on a tuxedo gown into the red carpet and back house, Bollywood celebrity Ranveer Singh always leaves a marker, yet bizarre it might appear, throughout his ensembles.
However, this shift isn’t simply about femme style for men. Dig deeper and you’ll see the lucrative opportunity it presents to fashion designers to grow their merchandise categories while remaining true to their aesthetics. Based on Hawks and Bloomberg analysts, menswear will become an industry worth $33 billion annually. Additionally, Euromonitor International suggests that menswear is promoting faster than womenswear. Additionally, this is one of the critical reasons why this extravagant change in fashion homes looks more perceptible and promising.
Irrespective of the reasons, menswear is, in fact, getting invigorated with all these revolutionary designs. And, (may I say) that a much-awaited revolution is underway.