Fashion legends come and go. The world of fashion already had to say goodbye to Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Emanuel Ungaro and Karl Lagerfeld. Regrettably, Jean Paul Gaultier has now decided to call it quits. He is doing so for the second time in his career, as in 2014 he had already decided to stop his confection line of clothing.
The underwear brand Comfyballs originates in Norway. Motivated by the lack of functionality and innovation in men’s basics underwear, Comfyballs started in 2012 with the development of exclusive men’s underwear, as most men’s underwear is boring and generally has limited functionality.
ME.LAND is the shoe label for men by French designer Frédéric Robert. Robert has gained experience at prestigious French fashion houses such as Lanvin, Dior, Kenzo and Hermès. But in the end, it was his dream to launch his own collection. That is how ME.LAND was created.
In the transitory world of fashion, some designers seem to be immortal, and Karl Lagerfeld was one of them. Or rather: “Kaiser Karl,” as he was respectfully called by many, referring to this impressive and long track record in various well-known fashion houses, such as Chanel, Fendi, Mariana, and Pierre Balmain. But a fashion genius like Karl Lagerfeld is ultimately just a man of flesh and blood.
Although the name suggests otherwise, Undertøj was founded in Amsterdam. The brand’s simple starting point was to create beautiful boxer shorts for men, without in-your-face logos and colors, in other words: “less is more.”
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the new spring/summer campaign of the Dutch suit brand Suitsupply. Male models in all kinds of intimate poses, even kissing each other. With the matching motto: “Find your perfect fit.” Given the homoerotic appearance of the photographs, this phrase can be interpreted in different ways.
Silk Jewellery is a jewellery brand founded in 2006. The jewellery collection consists of handmade sterling silver bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants for both men and women. There are no specific collections for men or women, as everything is unisex.
The Dutch underwear brand PFM Underwear was founded by Pauline Mulder. As a former professional tennis player, she wants to create a top brand with trendy boxer shorts for men. PFM Underwear’s boxer shorts have an excellent fit, a perfect finish, and are made of high-quality materials.
The French underwear label HOM brings an homage to Cuba in its summer-spring collection. The collection is inspired by the 1950s in Cuba, with its exotic plants and flowers, bright colors, and Cuban architecture.
I've always know Dr. Martens as a brand a bit more meant for the alternative market, often with a little 'interesting twist'. In recent years, an increasingly smarter range of Dr. Martens is introduced. Just like one of the alltime favourites, the great 'light' 1460 Air Wave (with yellow/black tab), the brand is not only worn with cropped skinny jeans, but more and more in combination with a suit as well.
The famous French luxury labels heavily dependent on foreign, read: Chinese, tourists, but after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the number of tourists visiting Europe has decreased dramatically. The luxury goods expenditures of Chinese tourists outside of China dropped by approximately twenty-four percent.
The sales in the luxury fashion industry are booming again, but not for all labels. Many Italian fashion houses are still struggling with reduced economic growth in China, decreasing oil prices, and less tourism in Europe because of the terrorist attacks.
The idea for Kazmok started in 2010 and came from crowned designer and company founder Dinand Stufkens. He went looking for other base materials than the average materials used for mass production. During his quest, Dinand spent the last five years collecting, testing and optimizing various used materials, such as old conveyor belts at airports and canvas used for military tents.
The current practice of catwalk presentations that take place over six months prior to the season seems to be on its way out. The men’s collections for the summer of 2016 were shown as early as June/July 2015. The popularity of social media has made the consumer impatient. After the presentation of the collections, they now want to buy the garments immediately. Many brands capitalize on this by putting their garments for sale on the web immediately after presentation.
The Italian fashion industry saw its revenue increase by five percent over 2015, to a total of 64.5 billion euros. Menswear generated a revenue of nearly nine billion euros. The global credit crunch now seems to be a black page that can finally be turned. Although the export to the Russian Federation dropped by thirty-one percent, the general export of Italian fashion increased more than seven percent, especially to the United States of America and China.
Recently, the actor Everon Jackson (known as Bing from the Dutch soap “Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden” [Good Times, Bad Times]) set up a brand new underwear range under the name BOLAS. In Spanish this means “balls” (referring to sports). It is meant for men with balls - a tough brand that aims at unique design, optimal comfort, and affordable quality.
The Drykorn Men collection has been around since 1966 and has developed into an international fashion brand. The German fashion label stands for authenticity, high quality in design and fabrics, and individuality. The men’s collection for the fall and winter of 2015-2016 is edgy, sporty and futuristic with the motto: “Free Unit Free Senses.”
The French capital Paris will invest fifty-seven million Euros in the fashion industry. This investment is meant to give the Parisian fashion industry a boost over the next five years. With this, Anne Hidalgo, the female Mayor of Paris, wants to ensure that Paris remains the capitol of fashion, and she will do anything to make sure it will.
After years of disappointing sales figures, the Italian fashion houses are finally showing good sales. Many fashion houses are on the mend, partly because of the recovering world economy. 2014 showed an average growth of 4.6 percent, and the prospects for the second half of 2015 and for 2016 are positive.
For the Spanish swim label XTG, designer Luis Mentado has made an inspirational trip around the world for the new summer collection, from the beaches in Mexico and Brazil, to the cities of Paris, London, Milan, and Madrid.
The history of the bomber jacket goes back to 1915, when French and Belgian fighter pilots (or bomber pilots) wore leather jackets to protect them from the cold. After this period did American air force pilots also get these leather flight jackets.
The recovery in the fashion industry is under pressure because of constant clearances in particular. These sales periods are becoming increasingly longer, and the discount rates increasingly higher. Mid-season and pre-sales have become established expressions, and so now, consumers are expecting low prices throughout the year. This forces retailers to deal with imposed price pressure.
At a first glance, fashion and politics seem two different worlds, but they are getting more and more intertwined. The Chinese government, for example, is taking drastic measures against the typical Chinese “gifts culture,” for instance in the business world, where expensive designer items are given to business associates.
New Yorker is an international German clothing store chain that was founded in 1971.
At New Yorker, you find denim, sports and streetwear for fashion-conscious trendsetters who do not want to pay too much.
The street and sportswear label Timezone was founded in 1993 and stands for products that combine a natural lifestyle with ground-breaking design and complete authenticity. The brand is inspired by the cultural diversity of different time zones all over the globe.
The list of designers who showed their menswear collections for the upcoming autumn and winter season in Paris last January, was long. They came from various countries, such as Colombia , Croatia, Denmark, Germany and Italy. Paris serves as an international platform and showcase of what menswear has to offer.
The Italian fashion industry is one of the most important industrial sectors in Italy. Worldwide, it is also a large player, particularly in the high-end and luxury segment. In 2011, the total turnover of the Italian fashion industry was approximately 63.5 billion euro, especially because of growth in foreign markets like America and Asia.
Portuguese soccer player Christiano Ronaldo introduced his own underwear line in cooperation with the Danish textile group JBS: CR7 by Christiano Ronaldo. For this celebrated sports star, it is the very first step into fashion design.
The street & sportswear label Timezone stands for products that combine a natural lifestyle with ground breaking design and complete authenticity. Instead of dressing up, Timezone dresses, and emphasizes the wearer’s own style and uniqueness.
Because of their timeless character and French knowhow, luxury goods that are “made in France” are well-known for quality. Products from famous French brands depend on their historical legacy and prestige, and are synonymous with quality. According to Bernard Arnault (CEO of L.V.M.H.), “a brand should be build up slowly and with a lot of patience.”
The city of Milan and the Italian fashion industry want to become leading in the international world of fashion again. They want to be able to compete with other fashion capitals, such as Paris, New York and London. For this, six proposals were written, including proposals for the development of more resources for creativity, for investments in the city itself, and tax incentives. With the slogan “Enjoy Milan,” the image and quality of life in the city needs to be improved, notwithstanding the international fashion events.
For a respectable brand such as Burberry, it is striking to see that this brand in particular is showing a lot of animal prints. A total mixture of leopard, tiger and cheetah prints. Classic costumes and trench coats become less formal by wearing them with leopard print shoes. Sometimes only the collars are in animal print. Show-stoppers are the trench coats that are completely in leopard print, but it remains to be seen if those will actually make it to the stores.
A recent survey of well-to-do Chinese consumers revealed that Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior are their favorite French luxury brands. France remains the target group’s favorite destination in Europe. Chinese men represent fifty-five percent of the Chinese luxury product market, far above the general average of forty percent. This makes them a highly interesting target group for European luxury brands. Yet, there is a limit to the seemingly unstoppable increase of Chinese prosperity.
The revenue in the Italian fashion industry has only seen a decrease of five percent to sixty billion Euros over 2012. “We are back at the revenue level of 2010,” says Mario Borselli, head of Milan’s Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. “And that isn’t too bad if you consider the impact of the global credit crunch. To us, the challenge has not been an easy one.
The French swim wear label Vilebrequin comes from sunny Saint-Tropez. The label came into existence in 1971, at a time this seaside resort was still entertainment for the “happy few.” Outside on the pavement of Café Sénéquier, sketches are made that are inspired on surf wear. Totally different from what was acceptable swim wear in those days.
Every season, a number of colors are, remarkably simultaneous, used in different collections. This time, the use of metallic fabrics and bright fluorescent colors is striking. Often, these trends (meant for the general public) eventually are followed by well-known fashion chains.
From a cone bra made out of newspaper for his teddy bear Nana, to the iconic cone bra corset he made for Madonna’s Blond Ambition World Tour, sixty-year-old Jean Paul Gaultier has come a long way. Now he is rewarded with an exhibition of his large body of work. “I think it is an honor to show my work here.”
France is still destination number one for rich Chinese consumers. The French brands Chanel, Christian Dior en Louis Vuitton are the most popular among these well-to-do Chinese men and women. China is the most important player in keeping the wheels of the worldwide luxury market turning.
To Italy the fashion industry is one of its most important sectors, and Italy is an important player on global level. Especially the more exclusive fashion and luxury products are doing well all over the world.
The lifestyle brand “Gant” is launching a new underwear collection for the critical male shopper. The high-quality and colorful line of underwear consists of Basic and Seasonal items, combining sporty design with classical details.
Sneakers: Various brands present sneakers in various blue hues this winter, including British Knights, Dr. Martens and Munich. From light powder blue to deep purplish blue. Very refreshing after all that brown and white. The Dutch brand Quick has wonderful handmade sneakers in he collection called Revival Typhoon de Luxe. Real craftsmanship made to be used.
From Amsterdam comes the new, young and fresh life style label “A Fish Named Fred,” for the kind of man who doesn’t take himself too seriously and is continuously looking for his next exciting adventure.
Insecure economic times ask for stable colors in fashion, such as camel and grey. Though black is always the ultimate favorite, and never absent in any men’s collection, many labels now offer nice combinations with camel and grey. Lanvin is really the proportion pioneer when it comes to men’s silhouette: wide, round and overhanging shoulders, and pants with a raised waistband, to counter-balance the favorite narrow body-hugging silhouette of today. The knitted sweaters from Jil Sander are beautiful and minimalist with the simple image of extinct dinosaurs.
The enormous budget cuts are curbing consumers’ spending pattern. These measures are dampening the economic growth in the Euro countries. This splits the fashion industry in two segments, focusing either on the cheap and affordable or on luxury. “Only the market for luxury products is booming nowadays. Consumers are prepared to pay for luxury,” says the German designer Wolfgang Joop.
The Spanish banking crisis, the real-estate crash in Ireland and the Greek debt crisis keep all European countries in a suffocating grip. So economies falter, markets become nervous and pessimistic consumers are unwilling to spend money. How important can expensive designer wear be in these uncertain times?
The men’s underwear label Vavoom is proudly Dutch. The company’s second collection of seven limited edition Vavoom boxers has a remarkable new fit, perfectly packaging the contents. And that’s exactly what Vavoom is focused on, the contents, says founder Jan Kessels.
In 2011 the total income of the Italian fashion labels amounted to sixty-three billion Euros. The ‘made in Italy’ tag is clearly doing well internationally. But the ongoing euro crisis hangs like a dark cloud over the Italian fashion landscape. “The most evident aspect of the current economic situation is the utter uncertainty of the future,” says Mario Boselli of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion.
For many people March is the month to go on holiday. Well, from the 20th till the 27th of March there is the EuroSkiPride Event in Saalbach. A winter sports and party week for gays and lesbians from all over Europe. This ski resort has been awarded “Best Après Ski Resort In The Alps.”
There will be several parties like the Snowballs and Snowgirls Party and the white dress code party the Snowkings versus Snowqueens Event. There are parties every night of the week.
A good sweater is like a second home in which you feel safe and comfortable. And if it’s of good quality it will last for years and years. A sweater is a classic of all times, indispensable in every wardrobe. Especially now that the economic situation is so dire, the sweater has become a rock-solid piece of clothing, to hide in and find shelter from an insecure world.
The Dutch jewelry label S!LK is inspired by the chemistry of intriguing Asia and her collection of silver jewelry supports the community trade of this continent. With a firm dedication to Fair Trade these robust pieces are handmade and of high quality natural materials. The jewelry is designed in Holland and made by craftsmen in Asia.
Fashion without black is unimaginable. Since the Japanese designers introduced it in the eighties on the European catwalks, black has been a favorite element for a statement. It’s absolutely timeless and easily survives season after season. Different materials produce different blacks. It’s mystery and cult, it can be combined with every other color. And it sells, so it’s no surprise that almost all designers take it up in most of their collections.
2009 was the year in which consumers kept a tight hand on their purse. In 2010 things improved, showing a global wealth increase of approximately eight percent to the record amount of 75,000 billion euro. And in 2011, the “shame of luxury” should become a thing of the past, with a return to normal levels of luxury goods consumption.
For many Italian fashion labels the aftermath of the global crisis is finally almost over. Many already booked huge profits over 2010. Relieved, they start looking at the future and at the emerging markets of India, Russia and China.
The Italian luxury industry expects to reach the levels of the time before the global crisis again at the end of this year; 2007 as well as the beginning of 2008 were the best ever. The demand for luxury products has been going up and they expect a turnover increase of eight percent to a total value of 164 billion pounds.
The impressive metropolis Paris is a non-stop international tourist magnet and judging by the enormous amount of gay nightlife establishments it’s obvious Paris has outstripped Amsterdam as a Gay Capital. Bienvenu à Paris, with a flourishing gay scene for the lovers of “La vie en rose...”
Outdoor tables and Parisians are connected like Siamese twins and looking at the bustle, during the week as well as in the weekend, one wonders whether the crisis has hit here at all. When things get a little too busy some gay bars screen off their outside area with red ropes.
A few seasons ago we saw the first tattoos on models with the international women’s collections presentations, now the trend has spread to the men’s collections as well. Chanel jumped on top of it and started selling fake tattoo stickers with the familiar double C-logo at their stores (for around 100 Euros). And it was a success! For not everyone wants to walk around with the same (permanent) tattoo for the rest of their life!
Like in nature high tide comes after low tide like clockwork, fashion flows as well. After several seasons of safe natural colors and a lot of black and whites, bold bright colors all of a sudden reappear. Still, natural colors dominate a lot of collections but some designers (the ones who have the talent of seeing things in advance) like Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada are not afraid to reintroduce the color in its entire splendor. Especially in the coming winter collections for 2011-2012 color will again have a prominent place.