Image source: www.laststyleofdefense.com
For anyone in doubt that London menswear has truly come of age in 2015, then the confident outings at LC:M this week proved the case. Moreover, the facts and figures demonstrate that the swagger isn’t just for show: menswear sales have grown almost 5% in the last year, and style forecasters are estimating that the men’s fashion market will grow by 27% between 2013 and 2018 to reach £16.4 billion (Mintel, 2014). Moreover, the week saw many digital firsts at presentations and on the runway – demonstrating a focus on innovation that can only add to the witty, inventive and desirable men’s fashion on show.
Bringing the runway experience straight to the customer was as much an emphasis at LC:M as it has increasingly become in women’s ready-to-wear in recent seasons – with both established brands and more under-the-radar designers employing live streaming and social media to increase exposure. Tapping into an increasingly online-shopping savvy male customer, Burberry not only live-streamed its AW15 outing on Monday, but allowed customers to order clothes online immediately afterwards. Danish menswear brand Soulland went one step further, creating a specially designed app that attendees could download immediately: allowing them to film the models, and providing exclusive content to be shared on social media platforms.
No ticket was required at the Pop Up at No. 9 – a temporary menswear shop in Seven Dials featuring a range of different brands curated by BBSC’s Daniel Peters. In collaboration with The Dandy Lab, the store environment brought the online world seamlessly into the offline, with interactive digital plinths and smart mannequins giving visitors a glimpse of what could become the norm in our stores.
Wearables also featured on the runways of LC:M. London upstarts Ada + Nik have always been known for their punk take on technical fabrics, but this week saw a hotly-anticipated first: the unveiling of the ‘Narrative jacket’, the world’s first leather jacket with an in-built camera. Teaming up with Narrative Clip – who have been producing wearable cameras since 2012 – the jacket captures images and location data without any conscious interaction. Oh, and it resembles a totally good-looking biker jacket – as opposed to a cyborgian gimmick that no respectable East Londoner would be seen dead in.
In order to assess LC:M’s digital strategy from head to toe, however, one shouldn’t forget the all-important hairdo. ‘The Fudge Fix’ – not to be confused with a delicious-sounding Vancouver eatery (“as much fudge as you can eat!”) – was Fudge Professional’s pop-up salon, where guests could capture their hair looks in an interactive photo booth to share on their social channels. Mmmm, #FudgeFix.
Reported by Claire Healy