The world of menswear fashion has swiftly changed. Our image of sleek, posh and manly stereotypes slowly began to disappear. How odd to not have seen these old notions in recent years. The most anticipated runways are now filled with innocent-looking boys strutting their way, with a slightly boyish, awkward, kooky attitude.
The shifting patterns of gender neutrality and social movements (LGBT, Feminist Movements, Black Lives Matter), changed the way creative directors think. People are far more concerned about social issues, using fashion to speak their mind – protesting through clothing. It is now more about the brand’s demeanour and less about the design aesthetics.
At least this is the case for emerging menswear brands.
It all started in 2008 with Gosha Rubchinskiy, who used fashion as a way to break away from the world’s stereotype of Russia (or Eastern European countries in general). His clothes are seen as absurdist. You’d never expect to see very basic, very casual pieces on the runway. Yet, he just collaborated with Burberry. Completely oversized, unstructured and looking like home clothes but still #winning.
So many others followed. In the past five years, new brands such as Off-White, Cottweiler, and Vêtements to name a few have created the same vision as Gosha. Casual, to the point and giving off an I-don’t-care attitude. Forget meticulous details, colour coordination, or patterns. Now is the age of graphics, informality, and simplicity (or shall we say laziness).
Ridiculously high prices are set for each product, making everything look “exclusive” and “cool”. Still, fashionistas everywhere are lining up whenever an in-demand brand is launching their new collection or collaboration. I mean, everything that can be done, must be done to get that $760 plain t-shirt right?
Hopefully, all of these trends and fads will not intimidate new startups to push their standards and find their true design identity. Brands need to step up their game in fashion. If you hate having meaningless stereotypes such as “Overrated” or “Fashion is ridiculous” associated with your collections, then prepare your collections thoroughly! Explore old and new things and create something fresh from them. It doesn’t matter if you aim to have a casual identity, insert your own twists and tell deeper stories through design.
Otherwise, what will differ your (supposedly premium) brand from fast fashion then?
Written by Florencia Irena