Suits you, Sir: How the men’s luxury market is excelling

Isaac Mostovicz writes that affluent consumers in overseas markets are key to the emergence of the men's luxury market ...

An interesting article in the Financial Times described the rate at which the luxury men’s market has expanded of late – to the point where it is beginning to outperform the women’s luxury market. According to the 10thedition of Bain & Company’s luxury goods worldwide market study, men’s items now make up half of the luxury market – in no small part down to the appetite of male consumers from emerging markets like Asia, and particularly China.

Men's luxury lifestyle emporium Heartless

 “In Asia, the development of men’s wear is extremely rapid, and in China we expect an organic growth close to 20 per cent for most of the European luxury names,” says Thomas Mesmin, a luxury goods analyst at CA Cheuvreux.


But it’s not just emerging markets that are seeing the of explosion of the luxury men’s market. Globally speaking, theUSbrand Coach has seen its men’s business double over the last year, and eventually men’s sales are expected to make up 15% or more of their total sales.


Hermes reports similarly spectacular expansion in its men’s categories. Meanwhile, major retailers and department stores are making plans to create exclusive areas for men’s luxury accessories and footwear – including Harrods and French retailer Printemps.


Alexis Morout, COO of footwear designer Christian Louboutin, has similarly positive projections for the future growth of their men’s business, commenting: “The men’s business represents today less than 5 per cent of our overall business, but could easily become 15 to 20 per cent in the near future.”


The Bain & Company study also reported that the luxury market continues to perform strongly in all categories, with apparel experiencing 8% growth in 2011, driven by both menswear (9%) and womenswear (7%).


With plans to trial men’s only concept stores by Gucci and Bottega Veneta in China, it will be interesting to see if this is a long-term evolution in consumers’ buying behaviour or if it remains a buying trend more exclusive to emerging markets.

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