January in the fashion world means MENSWEAR. London Fashion Week Men’s, Pitti Uomo, Milano Moda Uomo and Paris Fashion Week Men’s are the four main events entirely dedicated to men.
Right after our experience at the 97th edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence where we officialised our partnership with Roy Roger’s and where we had the chance to discover all the new Italian trends, it would be interesting to look at the Asian ones.
The increase in male shoppers
In an era where fashion retail is booming, a key-factor has emerged: the increasing number of male shoppers. The demand for menswear products, especially in the fashion industry, is growing and while usually, menswear has always come after womenswear in retail, in recent years the situation has changed. In fact, thanks to Millennials and Generation Z, many important brands are giving greater importance and investing in their men’s collection, trying to attract these new audiences, which became the new core of the industry. Brands tend to capture their attention through athletes, musicians, and influencers on social platforms, which is why strategic social media management has become essential in the industry.
Best-performing Asian brands
To further explain this trend, below are some successful Asian brands.
An interesting one is Xander Zhou: Homonymous to the brand, the designer is a Chinese man who likes to explore and mix the oriental mysticism and the Asian futurism to create an unconventional casual style, often resulting in half one colour, half another shirts, one-sleeve jackets, and unmatched shoes.
Another interesting brand to take into consideration in the Asian scenery is Nonnative. It is a 20-years old brand that faces the market through a casual indoor proposal revisited in urban key with a touch of the nineties. While it is not very well-known among Western countries, it enjoys great success in Asia, especially in Japan, it’s home country. It was also one of the first brands to create short fashion movies to present its new collections.
Co-operations with European brands are usually key to the success of the Asian ones. This is what the Italian brand Lardini and the Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa are trying to achieve with their capsule collection presented at the beginning of the month at the 97th edition of Pitti Uomo, in Florence. It embraces the classic style of the Italian brand perfectly matched with the Japanese casual one, resulting in some very original pieces.
It is worth to say that usually, Asian men try to follow European trends instead of creating new ones and are fascinated by Italian brands that represent the features of the “Made in Italy”. This is especially true when it comes to formal occasions, while for casual ones they tend to get the inspiration from Korean, American and Japanese styles.
A short Italian story of success: Boggi Milano
Many Italian brands are entering the Asian market every day, achieving in most cases great success among the Asian population. What makes these brands appreciated are the unique features of the Made in Italy and the costumer-centric experience they usually propose. These are exactly the main focuses of Boggi Milano that during the last few years succeeded in entering this market and attracting its consumers. Boggi Milano is now one of the main fashion menswear retailers in Italy and is developing at a great speed internationally. The brand enjoys great success in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, where consumers appreciate the elegance, the contemporary style and the quality of products, the attention to detail, and the adaptability of the brand. Another key strength of Boggi Milano in Asia is the organisation of its “Su Misura” events, regularly ran to promote their made-to-measure tailoring service through which clients have the opportunity to customise their suits in details and finishes such as buttons, buttonholes, and accessories. The in-store experience is also something Boggi Milano is very devoted to. For this reason, in October 2016 the brand founded the Boggi Academy to teach the right skills to all staff so that they can provide every client with a unique and unforgettable experience in all their stores around the globe.
Boggi Milano is only one of the many cases of Italian successful brands in this market, suggesting room for great opportunities. Italian fashion and design industries are very appreciated by Asian consumers who are attracted by the classic Italian features, recognisable and successful all over the world. However, the product alone is no longer the only factor to succeed in this side of the world, a strong commercial strategy and focused marketing campaigns are necessary to understand different Asian countries and market needs.
The CEO of Boggi Milano was one of the panellists of our Asia Retail Conference 2019, to find out the insights of the commercial strategy read the full Conference report here.