Paris Menswear Spring 2011
Dates: Jun 24 – 27, 2010

Menswear… Upfront

DALLAS, May 24, 2010 / FW/ — The Cannes Film Festival is done and the TV Upfront week in New York is also over. Two different events for entirely different reasons but similar in one aspect – both gave their audience the unexpected.

The jury of the 63rd Cannes Film Festival gave the highly coveted Palme d’Or to “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”, by the Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul. As for the TV Upfront market, old favorites like Law & Order and Ghost Whisperer were cancelled and the iconic 1970s show Hawaii 5-0 is being recycled.

With THE UNEXPECTED as the trend among the groups that give us pop culture, it will be a safe bet that the coming Paris Menswear season will also propose surprising silhouettes and give us and unanticipated trends.

After all, the global economy which was showing signs of recovery early in the year took an unforeseen downward spiral of the euro.

But, the new driving force in luxury consumption is not unforeseen; it has been expected for some time that the Gen Y will replace the Baby Boomers as the new affluent consumers.

Generation Y (born approximately 1977-1994) represents the largest consumer group in U.S. history. Estimated at 70 to 85 million strong or roughly 25% of the U.S. population, Gen Y is larger than the Baby Boomer generation and is supplanting them as the most important economic force.

According to L2, a New York University think tank focused on marketing innovation for prestige brands, Gen Y’s annual spending power exceeds $200 billion. They also influence another $50 billion in purchases. According to studies, by 2017, Gen Y will eclipse Boomers in spending power.

And how will this affect menswear?

Interestingly, among the male Gen Y’ers who were surveyed in 45 countries (83 percent are expected to make more than $100k+/year in the short term), 61% said that they are brand conscious but Ralph Lauren was the only fashion brand named among the Top 10 Prestige brands. Ralph Lauren was #9, behind 7 cars and one hotel. Again, THE UNEXPECTED is playing a role in these new demographics.

So, for Spring 2011, I am not going to make a prediction. Rather, I will sit back and observe first as the fashion world goes into the second decade of the 21st century.



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