This week kicks off the first Men’s Fashion Week in Canada. The work of 22 emerging and established men’s fashion designers have been front and center on the Canadian runway. It has been incredible to see all the different fashions come out of Toronto this week. It’s been a great opportunity for some young up and coming designers to showcase their designs, but the biggest thing that we can take from this week is the incredible growth we’ve seen in men’s fashion.
According to the research firm MarketLine, men’s fashion is estimated to be a $400 billion US industry. While that is still less than the women’s fashion industry, menswear has exceeded growth in women’s wear for five years running.
So what do we attribute the growth to? Well, I think first and foremost we can point to fearless fashion icons like soccer-great-turned-style-icon David Beckham and rapper Kanye West. Modern men now dress up to stand out: skinny pants, dapper shoes, French cuffs, vests and Mad Men pocket squares have all caught the attention of a new generation. Larry Rosen, chairman and CEO of Harry Rosen tells the Toronto Star his business has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
Fashion for men today is neither gay nor straight. “These days, fashion is not about sexuality,” says Jeff Rustia, founder of TOMFW. “If you want to wear pink pants, it doesn’t mean you are a homosexual. Menswear is no longer a tagalong to womenswear, and it is not longer boring.”
This weeks fashion show is in its infancy, but it’s already making big headlines.
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