British footwear and accessories designer Anya Hindmarch has revealed she is to launch a menswear collection to be shown alongside her highly successful women’s line in a move that further blurs the lines between men’s and women’s Fashion Weeks.
To be launched next month the collection includes three bag styles (a backpack, a tote and a briefcase-style bag) in leather, as well as small leather goods and sneakers featuring the designer’s now-signature badge embellishments (such as smiley faces and Space Invaders icons).
Hindmarch’s news follows on from Stella McCartney’s announcement earlier this month that she was moving into menswear. McCartney’s menswear collection will show alongside her women’s pre-Collection in November, while Hindmarch will show her men’s collection alongside her women’s collection on-schedule at London Fashion Week in September.
The designer told the New York Times that the move into menswear was organic as men were coming into her stores and buying women’s items for themselves “as well as ordering pieces from our bespoke shop, where customers are pretty much split 50-50 between the sexes, so we thought we might as well do it in a more organized way.”
Brands and designers adding menswear comes on the back of significant growth in the sector. The menswear market is now growing at a faster rate than womenswear, according to recent figures released by Mintel (although at £14.1bn it only accounts for 25% of the total apparel market). However the menswear show schedule has somewhat been thrown into disarray with many brands opting to combine the showing of their men’s and women’s collections.
Burberry and Gucci were two of the biggest names to reveal they were ditching separate men’s shows in favour of a combined show and at the recent pre-collections and menswear shows many brands showed both men’s and women’s collections (British father and son duo, Casely-Hayford debuted their womenswear line at London Collections Men).
In order to better align London Collections Men (which was launched four years ago) with London Fashion Week, its owner the British Fashion Council has revealed it would be rebranded and London Fashion Week Men’s. Some buyers are concerned that menswear will lose its focus and status if it operates in the shadow of women’s events however, but with big brands taking the initiative and combining shows the combining of the men’s and women’s schedules could be the eventual outcome.
The CFDA in New York recently launched a dedicated men’s Fashion Week and it is due to take place for the third time from 11 July.