PARIS — It was all about having a strong identity at the recent spring 2018 men’s trade shows here. Homespun, cultural references, vintage and surf styles and streetwear were selling well, with buyers seeking standout items and new discoveries to complement their core designer offering and differentiate themselves, rather than seeking out specific trends.
“Trends are hard to build a business around these days,” observed Chris Thomas, director of retail for Melbourne, Australia’s Service Denim Stores. “We’re looking for accessories to accentuate our core offer that have a point of uniqueness in the Australian market,” he said. “The ability to be unisex is important, too.”
Indeed, more and more brands were showing what they described as “unisex” collections as the trend for outsize gender-neutral garments continues to gain traction. Labels that tapped into heritage styles and techniques, especially from Japan and France, were also popular, as were new takes on performance wear.
Brands showing at Tranoï, Man and Capsule, held over the weekend during Paris Men’s Fashion Week, said foot traffic had been relatively slow, although key buyers had walked through, with a strong presence from Asian, especially Japan, and U.K.-based retailers.
Paul Craig, co-owner of The Bureau, a multibrand men’s store in Belfast,
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