Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Gentlemen, We Are Floating in Space - Online Retail for Men

Most of my personal styling efforts these days are aimed at gentlemen. My mission? (I won't bother feigning humility here)... I help men look their hottest. I make each man find and hone a personalized style that is super comfortable, unique, and authentic to whom the guy already is. I'm not transforming guys into trend hounds. Instead, it's critical to me that my client walks away confident, stylish, and skilled in how to shop and dress for himself with ease.

Shopping for dudes is another beast unto itself. It takes far more research and scouring than womenswear does. Of course as you know, shopping online has helped democratize fashion, making quality clothes more accessible despite geography. Gone are the days where 'shopping in London' (or New York, Paris, or Milan for that matter), is a privilege few are afforded. Now, the 'nets (and a willful credit card!), deliver the goods straight to your door.

And YET, shopping online for men has been somewhat 'meh' until recently. Of course there is the highly curated Opening Ceremony, and accessible UK-based ASOS but the former is specialized toward hardcore hipsters (in denial obvs), and ASOS is amazing but vast and thus requires a very good eye to find the right stuff. I lovelovelove the new'ish Dalston-based 'lifestyle project' LNCC for their unpretentious, holistic, and very fashion-forward aims but not many of my clients seek experimental clothing. And SSENSE.com has the potential be an amazing site for menswear but unfortunately the mens' buying utterly lacks vision, a fact which is evident in their inundation of 2001-esque graphic Tshirts, polo t-shirts (in 2011, really?!), and blah GStar jeans blocking sightlines for the good brands like Raf Simons and Acne that they carry. SSENSE purports to be edgy with their editorials but the menswear falls waaaaaay short. SSENSE missed an opportunity to be the "It" gentleman's store on the block: in trying to be 'everything to everyone' it thus fails to be anything to anyone.
Some of 'Mr. Porter's Style Icons' on mrporter.com
ENTER new kid in town: Mr. Porter, "the male counterpoint to Net-a-Porter, the high-end fashion e-tailer". People say it rips off brilliant menswear mag, Fantastic Man. I say, HALLELUJAH! Finally, an online retailer offering men uncompromisingly quality, flattering, designer clothing. Admittedly, some of the 'style advice' on the site is stodgy (in a charming kinda way), but the editorials and styling is tops and the selection/buying is perfection so as a consumer you can't go wrong. It would be amazing to be a part of this team as a buyer or stylist! In the meantime, I will be sending my gentlemen clients to Mr. Porter.

13 comments:

Isquisofrenia said...

wow such a cool blog you have here!

Alex said...

Love Mr. Porter!

Can't afford to buy my clothes there but it's great for inspiration and giving me ideas.

Anonymous said...

ssense.com sucks!

their models look like robots. but not the cool ones, the boring ones. ;)

misslikey said...

I always look at OC. they have really great stuff. I am seeing everywhere ads for Mr Porter and I haven't clicked yet but now as I saw Bob Dylan as Mr Porter have to check it out! Great post!

F.M. said...

"MissLikey" - I agree, I love OC. Their buyers do a damn good job bringing in the most relevant lines and brands.

Tomasz Konefal said...

http://www.mrporter.com/product/300880

$90 flippy floppies? yes, some really great ideas, but prices are a bit out of touch with my reality :)

F.M. said...

Tomasz! $90 totes too much for flip flops for sure, but I seem to recall a certain someone wearing a beautiful pair of pricey TIGER boots... lol

Seriously though, when you can't splurge on these pricey clothes, it's still nice to peruse the images for style ideas and find a way to create similar looks more inline with your own budget. Your stylist (ahem!) can give you tips on how to do this. :)

ANDWHATELSEISTHERE said...

let me afloat in space with all these clean-cut lads, please!

ANDWHATELSEISTHERE

SHOP

Syed said...

I am hoping the site improves, because although what is there is good, it is nothing new. Plus some of the prices seem kinda odd compared to elsewhere :s It does show potential though!

Anonymous said...

it's more expensive, but the packaging and site are slick slick slick

Fashionism said...

Great mission!! Most guys are afraid of looking stylish and losing themselves in the process. Comfortable options that are flattering to each individual will motivate men to look good, without overwhelming them. Take the classic polos for example - men have always been incorporating them to create a causal/formal wardrobe. Love it!

Tomasz Konefal said...

Ah, those Tiger boots... they get a lot of mileage. Worth every penny, too! :D

Miiicha said...

Great post:)