Menswear’s Response to the Economy

Has the look of menswear changed because of the economy? When I asked Jeff Blee, a furnishings merchandise manager at Brooks Brothers, he said if anything, it was getting more colorful. He called it “exuberant.” “We’re not playing it conservatively in spring,” he told me. “There’s so much life in the line. I’m hoping it […]

My Three-Year Quest for a Lousy Leather Tie

It started in about 1987: That’s when I saw my dad’s cousin Larry wearing a deep-red, narrow leather tie at some family function. I loved it, and I told him as much. I wasn’t yet in high school. Over the years I’ve probably joked about wanting a leather tie as an ironic homage to 80s […]

Fashion Week: Z Zegna

It’s amazing what an effect a good vantage point has at a runway show. Even though I had to stand at the Z Zegna show this week, my sightlines were great. I had a nice view of the runway, the cameras and some of the visiting dignitaries from GQ and Saks. With my unobstructed view, […]

Ten Thoughts From the Runways

Runways shows, particularly for menswear, are strange events. There are so many competing goals during Fashion Week – seeing and being seen, brand boosterism, socializing, trend-spotting, trend-making – it all gets mixed up. For purposes of showing real clothes I’ve gotten much more out of showroom events, but I love the excitement of the runway, […]

Las Vegas Notes: MRket

“I’m shopping for fresh,” David Rubin of Joseph’s in San Antonio, Texas told me. He was the first retailer I spoke to at MRket on Sunday. “The better merchandise is what looks great,” he continued. “The moderate is not there. Better looks even better.” He mentioned lots of brands, including Scott Barber and Jhane Barnes. […]

Las Vegas Notes: Magic and Pool

One of the biggest stories in neckwear this show was MMG’s Ed Hardy license. MMG’s Jeff Sencer and Dave Klaus showed us designs at four retail price points: $62, $88, $125, and $235. The highest priced designs were dazzlingly embellished with Swarovski crystals; lower end designs often had crystals too, but not nearly as many. […]

Traditional and Contemporary Collisions in Las Vegas

Jeweler Scott Kay said something to me and fashion director John Jones that I thought made a lot of sense for our changing market: “More segmentation creates more opportunity.” Kay’s example was the humble cuff link, which he has in three categories: sport, dress and formal. The lesson is that cuff links are no longer […]

Menswear: Make it new, but not too new

I was reading Peter Gay’s “Modernism,” an ambitious overview of the concept in culture and the arts, when I came across an interesting quote by the Swedish-American modern artist Claes Oldenburg: “The bourgeois scheme is that they wish to be disturbed from time to time, they like that, but then they envelop you, and that […]

Topman’s New York Debut

I’m not really sure yet what to make of Topshop’s – or more specifically Topman’s – entry into the U.S. market. It will be big though. Topshop and Topman will be opening in October on Broadway in SoHo with a 40,000 square foot, four story U.S. flagship. As is typical in retailing, the menswear will […]

Responses to the MDFA Story

My response to Ray Smith’s Wall Street Journal article (read it here) about the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association yesterday, a blog titled “What Will it Take to Get Marty Staff to Wear a Tie?” generated its own set of responses. Richard Arutunian, the MDFA’s former historian, sent me an e-mail saying, “The two neckwear manufacturer’s […]