A press release from London-based market research company Euromonitor International is forecasting a massive influx of cash to the global apparel market courtesy of rapidly increasing menswear sales. Based on current growth statistics (menswear sales grew by nearly 5 percent in 2014), sales are expected to gross roughly $40 billion by 2019.
That’s enough money to buy the New York Yankees sixteen times. Or, you could reinvest in 275 million Ralph Lauren pocket squares. We’ll let you do the math to figure out how much each of those pocket squares costs. So what’s the guiding force behind the expected windfall? Good old fashioned gender-based income disparities, says Magdalena Kondej, Head of Apparel and Footwear research at Euromonitor. “Globally, men’s annual disposable income is still 50 percent higher than women’s, and while Western markets still spend the most on apparel, future growth is expected to be driven by Asia Pacific.”
In China, menswear sales are already outpacing those of womenswear. The young, wealthy men of China have disposable income to burn, and they’re spending it on luxury goods. By some estimates, menswear in China accounts for over 40 percent of the total apparel market.
Meanwhile, here in New York City, designers are gearing up for the city’s first menswear fashion week. Back in February, amid a great deal of speculation, the Council of Fashion Designers of America officially confirmed the event which will be held in July of this year.
Industry leaders had been pushing for a devoted menswear fashion week for years prior to the official announcement, citing the untapped opportunity for American menswear designers to show off their goods on their home turf, rather than in Europe. While menswear design is indisputably very important to the creative climate of New York City, it has struggled to step out of the shadow of womenswear at American fashion shows. “Menswear presents a great opportunity for fashion brands looking to diversify their product portfolios and reach out to new consumers. The more effectively brands are able to harness wealth and unique consumption cultures of male consumers, the more successful they will be,” notes Euromonitor’s Kondej.
We can’t wait to see what this diversification entails. With men’s fashion week looming on the horizon, design studios are firing on all cylinders, getting ready to show us what they have in store for menswear in 2015 and beyond. Stay tuned for more updates on the menswear market from Paul Evans. In the meantime, check out our entire collection here.