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Changing marketplace for wearable clothes

In Alec Leach’s 2022 book, ’The World Is On Fire But We’re Still
Buying Shoes’
, the former style editor begs us to reconsider
limited edition collaborations, micro trends, and fly-by-night pop ups
in favor of meaningful purchases that have staying power in our lives.
Leach says, “Clothes in the hype era aren’t products to own, they’re
moments to broadcast, to share on Instagram for 24 hours. They’re
here, then they’re not – they are more like memes than products.
Except unlike memes, clothes leave a very permanent mark on the
planet.”

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Michael Fisher, Vice President of Menswear at Fashion Snoops highlights FW24 menswear
trends in the run up to the next buying season.

In addition to thinking about the carbon footprint fast fashion and
meme-inspired looks leave behind, it’s also important to address the
neverending identity crisis for vulnerable consumers who don’t know
where to turn stylistically when there’s a new aesthetic being
presented to them on a weekly basis. In short, viral clothes have
become passé. Long live wearable clothes.

As “-core” becomes tacked on to the end of every fast moving momentary
trend, consumers are looking for pieces that offer them some solid
footing. Stripped back but far from boring, these simply perfect
basics put a focus on design longevity and elevated staples that are
evergreen to their core. Bundled wardrobe starter parks and
gender-free sizing offer an opportunity for thoughtful wardrobe pieces
with a custom, buildable approach. By favoring seasonless style and
practical functionality over temporary trends—sustainability becomes
our greatest influencer.

Auralee FW23 Credits:
©Launchmetrics/spotlight

2023 brought with it a cantankerous economy, ongoing climate doom and
gloom, and of course, a polarizing conflict in the Middle East that
continues into a new year. Consumers are collectively seeking refuge
from an ever-chaotic world, and the clothes that we wear are a big
part of it. No, it doesn’t mean we’re running back to the safe
confines of heather grey joggers and shearling quarter-zips, but it
does indicate a pretty provocative notion for 2024 and beyond—a
fashion reset that’s effortless, easygoing, and freed from the
pressure of being flashy. We will see brands emphasize the joy of
dressing by encouraging men to put classicism and comfort first when
considering new styles.

Elusive fashion designer Damir Doma recently started a new label
called DIOMENE to attempt to reject the industry’s constant need for
newness. His desire to put timeless design into the universe reflects
some consumers’ increasing “less is more” mentality. “I wanted to
create clothing that is reduced and liberated from the pressure of
being simply new. Here it’s about purity, quality, comfort, and
sustainability,” said a press release when the brand launched last
year.

Ami Paris Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

The tried-and-true fashion cycle that’s been so dependable for so many
years has finally imploded on itself. With consumers across the globe
having equal access to style and design (a very good thing!), our
cultural playing field is more level than ever before. The speed at
which things change has created an overarching trend fatigue that’s
settled over consumers in an age where aesthetics are decoupled from
their original subcultures, and algorithmically-driven microtrends
turn at hyperspeed. Equipped with greater access to information,
today’s educated consumers are growing ever more critical of fast
fashion and yearning for a meaningful conversation on personal style
that is authentic and long-lasting. Not only that, but the archetypal
“hypebeasts” of the late-2010s are evolving as they mature, leaning
towards formality and paying closer attention to masterful design
details and craft. As niche streetwear brands like Aimé Leon Dore,
Fear of God, Noah, and Kith diffuse into the more matured mainstream,
their customers turn towards the arbiters of time-worn classics,
putting them all on the same level as Drake’s, Ami, and Beams Plus—all
stylistic brothers of good taste.

Sure we all wanted to live our version of the Roaring 2020s when we
came out of a pandemic haze, scratching an itch for peacocking at any
turn after living in athleisure for over two years. The more
outlandish and dandyish the better, as we found any opportunity to
dress up and show off. Allover logos exploded after living in the
background for so many years, and inspired by Alessandro Michele’s
reinvention of Gucci, men played the parts of renaissance grandma and
Oscar Wilde, and everything in between. But, after so many seasons of
unserious, quiet luxury (or “stealth wealth”) came calling for a new
world that craved blue blooded sophistication and trend-less vibes.
Sure, the success of HBO’s “Succession” had a lot to do with our
desire to look subtly wealthy, but it also hinted at a coming pivot
away from TikTok absurdity.

Zegna FW23 Credits: ©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Brands like Zegna and Brunello Cucinelli have long since put fabric
and fit front and center, with their 2000 dollar cashmere sweaters and
focus on longlasting over the loud. As “stealth wealth” pivots away
from a meaningless pop culture-inspired and hints at this new world of
wearable, we expect to see an appetite for clothes and accessories
that are as close to perfection as possible—fashion for anyone,
anytime, any place. In fact, there’s a new “nine-to-nine” consumer who
wants to carry adaptability and comfortability from morning to night
as he integrates more moments of leisure into his increasingly
flexible lifestyle. These are clothes that are just as comfortable in
the changing workplace as they are on their way to pickleball or
brunch.

Solid Homme FW23 Credits:
©Launchmetrics/spotlight

Going into FW 24/25, we are forecasting moments of classic luxury
romanticized with a distinctly European flair and charming point of
view. There’s a unique personal aesthetic in this outlook that’s equal
parts modern and traditional—highly curated but with a tender nature
and an appreciation for cozy fineries with a rich history. Menswear
continues on its trajectory towards a new era welcoming softness,
sensuality, and fluidity. It’s not necessarily mundane or bare like
the previous version of “stealth wealth.” Instead, this is a
season-less, era agnostic state of being that will be with us for
seasons to come, putting classicism and good taste front and center.
Look for dramatic outerwear in appealing colors, textural and
broken-in surfaces, and a long-lasting shift to silhouettes that are
relaxed and comforting. It’s a welcoming and refreshing backlash to
what has become “new and now” that results in the cool and
contemporary.

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