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Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Menswear market in Canada is showing strong growth

Monday, May 09, 2016 > 11:09:29

(Montreal Gazette)

There has been profound change in men’s fashion in the last 10 to 20 years, according to CEO Larry Rosen of Harry Rosen.

Men used to be buyers of commodities, Rosen said. “So they would buy suits, sports jackets or trousers, never thinking of their wardrobe as situational.

“Today’s man is more eclectic and he thinks more about what he is choosing his clothing for,’’ he said.

“The business environment is also changing, encompassing casual looks.”

The menswear market in Canada, worth $8.3 billion of a total apparel market of $25.6 billion, has seen stronger growth than the women’s market, according to statistics supplied by NPD Canada. For the 12 months ended February 2016, the men’s market grew 3.3 per cent versus the women’s sector, which was flat at 0.3 per cent. Sales of men’s sportswear and tailored wear grew 3.9 per cent over that period.

Euromonitor International, an independent market research giant, attributes stronger growth in menswear in 2015 to athleisure on the one hand, and a taste for tailored and bespoke clothing, which carry higher price points, on the other.

Casual dressy looks, wider ranges of colour, fitness, pride in appearance, a blurring between style in the workplace and social occasions are among other factors in the growth. In its report on trends in menswear in Canada, Euromonitor writes: “There was a shift in the retail dynamic in 2015 in which high-end retail stores from independent boutiques to luxury department stores like Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom, and high-end specialist chains like Harry Rosen, performed particularly well.”

Sandy Silva of NPD Group Canada names many of the same trends: Men are more conscious of how they look; the categories they are most comfortable in — like denim and athletic wear — are becoming everyday wear; and retailers are following suit by dedicating more space to menswear.

“Those three factors are what’s causing the menswear market to grow,’’ Silva said.

The trends are driven by youth, Rosen says. He keeps an eye on his three “wonderful” sons — aged 28, 26, 24 — none of whom are currently involved in the business.

“Look for good news in a couple of years,” Rosen hinted.

“I watch the way they and their friends dress. They are very different consumers. They’re fitter, everything is more body conscious. They’re more intentional in the way they dress.

“They like to dress well, they like to be appropriate.”

And they like to spoil themselves, Rosen said, which has been good for sales.

Here are Larry Rosen’s top picks for trends for spring 2016:

  • Berry tones for jackets.

  • Brighter blues in jackets and suits. “It’s so fresh and so springy great.”

  • Clothing is still trim. “Men are fitter than they used to be.”

  • In footwear, monk straps and woven shoes are trending, and sneakers still going strong.

  • Men are starting to understand that the jacket is a versatile part of their wardrobe. “The truth of the matter is that men look better in a jacket. When you put on a jacket, it gives you structure and authority.”

  • Interest in accessories like small bags.

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