Agency execs discuss what brands can benefit from NYC Men's Fashion Week and which ones should stay away

This week marks the first Men's Fashion Week that New York City has hosted in years, with well-known brands such as Michael Kors and Calvin Klein showing off their collections for next year.

Men's online clothing sales have increased more than 17 per cent since 2010, according to Quartz.

So it's no surprise that a wide variety of brands - from Amazon to Cadillac - are jumping in on the action of this week's event.

The Drum spoke with agencies including CoolGraySeven, which specializes in fashion, lifestyle and luxury brands, to find out which companies could benefit from marketing and advertising around this week's as well as future Men's Fashion Weeks and which ones would be better off staying out of it.

Jeff Daniel, senior media director at Upshot

Big name fashion brands and smaller labels will be the obvious contenders here, but there’s opportunity for brands outside the clothing category to get involved in a complementary way. Think about how to capitalize on the male millennial’s desire to have the “entire look” very easily and quickly – from proper grooming, wearing stylish tech and non-tech related accessories all the way to the car/bike they drive and even the food they’re putting in their body. We’ve seen Cadillac already jump on board which is telling – creating a comprehensive image beyond just the clothes. I see all kinds of categories being a fit: healthy foods, workout supplements, essential bathroom toiletries, productivity apps to keep his life organized (like his closet) – all brands and products that help him create that entire look with clothes being the easy wallpaper draping to pull it all together.

Jill Smith, account director at Iris

I find it weird that Amazon is the main sponsor because the brand is not particularly elevating, and the other brands involved are a strange hog-pogde from Axe, Cadillac, Detroit Cycling brand Shinola and Dreamworks. If Men’s Fashion Week is meant to be accessing an active consumer demographic of regular dudes that has been on the rise, than there should be a more integrated approach that hits all the trendy touch points: male grooming - Harry’s, accessories – Moscot, brands that are accessible while still being premium, but ultimately cool.

Andrew Egan, founder & executive creative director of CoolGraySeven

As it’s the first standalone event of its kind in New York, it will be interesting to see how Men’s Fashion week is received overall and if it can one day match the buzz created by the women’s shows – which are by now the highlight on the fashion calendar, each season. Like any fashion event, I’d expect the audience to be made up of an eclectic mix of influencers across retail apparel, media and celebrity – essentially you’re talking about people who are inspired by creativity in the broadest sense and usually ahead of the curve where trends are concerned.

I think there’s a massive opportunity for emerging brands or those that are redefining their category to resonate with a captive audience of tastemakers. You would also imagine that Men’s Fashion Week presents a perfect platform for consumer brands that have recently repositioned and want to appeal to a more style-conscious consumer. Whether you’re in hospitality, automobiles or even banking there’s nothing quite like the cachet that comes with a fashion show when you’re looking for that cool factor.

Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she primarily covers independent agencies and B2B marketing. She also oversees The Drum’s “Independent Influence,” a weekly series that spotlights the work, perspectives and inspirations behind independent agencies. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal. She is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

All by Minda