Runways, Malls and Stores: Where the Boys Are
There’s some kind of rule of events happening in threes. We’re pretty sure it doesn’t have any application for coverage of retail events and trends, but as luck would have it, this week three stories popped up with a common link — male shoppers.
A blog by Raquel Laneri on the Forbes website reported that the recently completed fashion runway shows in Paris included men in skirts. No, we’re not talking manly kilts here. Male models doing the runway stroll were wearing skirts: "Long, short, narrow, baggy, pleated, fringed — they came in all shapes and styles."
Since we’ve started in Europe, the next story moves eastward to Prague where a developer has opened a mall targeted to upscale male shoppers. The new mall called Pánská Pasáž, which translates into "Gentlemen’s Arcade" in English, has 19 shops including "Ralph Lauren, famed Austrian tailor Knize, a gourmet food market, a shoe shop, a parfumerie for men and traditional barbershop," according to a report on Springwise. (Photos of the mall and products sold in its stores can be found on Facebook).
The male emphasis continues closer to home with reports this week that Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance was adding in-store boutiques for men.
Ulta’s CEO Chuck Rubin told attendees at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit that the company has previously offered products for men scattered throughout its 389 stores. By focusing on the category in a dedicated space, Ulta is hoping to become a destination for men seeking personal care products.
The rollout of the men’s boutique concept will be completed by August. Stores, according to Reuters, "will feature products from Procter & Gamble’s The Art of Shaving line, as well as other products such as electronic razors, cologne and hair care" products.
- Trend-Spotting: Men in Skirts – Forbes.com
- Runway Trend: Men in Skirts (photos) – Forbes.com
- In Prague, a new shopping mall caters for men – Springwise
- Pánská Pasáž – Facebook
- Ulta Salon to launch in-store men’s boutiques – Reuters
Discussion Question: Does the increased attention being paid to male consumers by fashion and beauty brands and retailers suggest a change is taking place in the approach men take to shopping in these categories? Are men and women becoming more alike in their shopping habits?