This year is an important milestone for men’s fashion. This is the year that the men finally get their own dedicated online space starting with the debut of Mr Porter . Mr Porter is the biggest ever launch of a men’s luxury-goods website, and was reported to be closely watched by the fashion industry to see whether there are enough active male shoppers to support an online fashion site.
Mr Porter, a cousin of the successful fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter (also recently bought over by the Richemont Group ) for women, is aiming to crack the notoriously tough men’s market when it comes to clothes shopping. The male market tend to be intimidated and turned off by new fashions being promoted in magazines and stores, and the men sharply trail women when it comes to shopping for clothes online. Women’s online apparel sales in the U.S. rose 11% to $10.5 billion in 2010, compared with a 7% rise to $4.5 billion for men, according to NPD Group.
“We know there’s a demand for this,” says Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. “I don’t think shopping right now really appreciates the way men want to shop,” she says.
Unlike Net-a-Porter which woos women with magazine-style spreads and feature “must-have” items, Mr Porter will feature profiles of men from real life, including a motorbike designer, a banker and a painter, wearing stylish clothes. Mr Porter will offer a limited number of brands, figuring that men prefer a quicker, more selective shopping experience. The site will be relatively uncluttered, and will offer short videos with style tips.
In my earlier post in July, I blogged about the launch of another men’s only site, Park and Bond by the Gilt Groupe. This first full-priced site from the company known for its suite of flash sales sites is carefully designed with the fashionable male shopper in mind and it is working with some the editors of GQ to select a series of key items from the pages of the magazine—and make them available on Park & Bond.
In addition to offering top menswear brands including Thom Browne, Lacoste, Jack Spade, Persol, Paul Smith and Oliver Peoples, the site also provides editorial content that ranges from “How to Wash Raw Denim” to “How to Deliver an Unforgettable Two Minute Toast.”
Men generally prefer to shop at men’s-only stores, even online, rather than seeing women’s products all over the home page, says Nita Rollins, an online retail expert at Resource Interactive, a digital marketing agency. “You have to take the fashion to the man,” she says.
And now, the latest addition to the men’s only fashion store is CLAD(www.cladmen.com). CLAD is a website devoted specifically to the needs of men providing expert advice on both fashion and fit. The site is a partnership with Esquire magazine, collaborating to bring a well edited assortment of apparel, accessories and footwear to men who want to shop in an environment that offers a unique fit tool, is easy to navigate and offers a variety brands.
CLAD is currently not live yet as of time of this writing. It is running a teaser campaign online and in the latest September issue of Esquire and opening early registration for people to sign up online to get $50 off when it is launched ( supposedly in August) . You can also get a PROMOCODE to get 20% off purchase on the site. Here’s a video clip of their teaser campaign- definitely appealing to the hetero crowd.