Male models in London are spotted more frequently since the arrival of London Collections Men four years ago; a fashion event inspiring the gents of Britain. Each season the designers release the latest trends for style conscious gents sending creations down the catwalk on chiseled cheek-boned male models. The vibrant capital becomes populated over the 5 day schedule with tall, charming, young male models. An excitement builds as the model invasion begins and the creative visions are witnessed on the catwalk. However, a concern has been raised that men’s designer shows in Europe are being combined with womenswear to save money.
Will this be the beginning of the end for menswear fashion weeks like LCM or will the buzz of London allow for the event to survive? Has LCM built a strong enough reputation to remain as a profitable arena in the fashion industry? Let’s take a look at the situation.
Unfortunately, it appears that menswear shows are slowly being airbrushed from the fashion industry’s calendar. An almost unnoticed removal as the showcase is integrated into women’s events as a sideline accessory rather than a main focus. The issue became apparent in Milan when ten designers announced their exclusion from the men’s fashion week schedule. Calvin Klein, Ermenegildo Zenga, Kering’s Brioni and Bottega Veneta were amongst the fashion houses who did not participate. In addition, Burberry, Gucci and Tom Ford have revealed that their menswear collection will be launched alongside their womenswear line in future. In their defence, the designers have reasoned that presenting both collections to buyers and customers will provide a clear idea of the vision for the season.
Speculation is that the cost of a separate men’s show is hefty. With womenswear sales providing a much higher revenue the menswear presentation may become redundant. After much analysis it’s clear that womenswear shows attract A-list celebrities, demand a social media presence and draw in photographers. The attention is considerably more in comparison to the men’s runway shows with a more low-key following.
Vick Mihaci, President of Elite Management states: “Although menswear has acquired more of a standing over the years, the women’s shows are still the most important … with many more brands focusing on women”
What affect will this revelation have on the male modelling industry?
With a decrease in menswear shows and combining the events surely less male models will be needed on the catwalk. It is highly unlikely that the integration of menswear shows will remain in Europe and inject London’s designers with the same idea. Could this be the end for male models in London? It could be if menswear collections continue to bring in low sales. Therefore, the justification of an event of this scale will no longer exist; a worrying time for male models in London as the amount of opportunities in an already fiercely competitive world decrease. The fight to secure work will become more tense and stressful as rivals compete for the limited places.
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