Being one of the best fashion capitals of the world, London is renowned for putting on the most exciting, most talked about and most eagerly anticipated events in the fashion calendar. Whether it’s the prestigious London Fashion Week, or the budding-talent-promoting Graduate Fashion Week, we know how to celebrate fashion in all its glory.
But while these events have a strong focus on the ever-changing narrative of womenswear, it’s important to remember that there is a really interesting story going on at present, behind the changing face of menswear and what impact that is having on the fashion industry.
For example, let’s look at what’s going on with men’s fashion on the high street. Many brands and retailers are either opening men’s-only stores, or if not wanting to take such a huge risk, are completely revamping their menswear sections. And let’s not forget how much media attention some of these menswear collections receive when they collaborate with some of the most celebrated and popular male actors, musicians and sports stars in the world. Do you remember the sheer excitement – felt by both men and women – when David Beckham announced his menswear collection with H&M? And just earlier today, Chanel announced a new campaign with none other than Pharrell Williams.
Now, although H&M and Chanel differ in being two very different brands, they are very established in their own right. This means having figures such as Beckham and Williams on their team will not doubt see them laughing all the way to the bank, and also bring in a whole new audience that they may have not had access to otherwise.
On the flip side we’ve seen some of the high-end fashion houses such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Gucci all decided to combine their womenswear and menswear catwalk shows into one big show. Many critics have cited this move as an indication that menswear desperately needs the support of womenswear to be considered a real force in the fashion world. But many others have argued against this claim, and responded by saying that this reflects the rising importance of men’s fashion for both the industry and the men that wear it.
One big event that would be more likely to support the secondary view – and was created for the sole purpose of giving both established and budding menswear designers – is London Collection Mens SS17 (LCM). This year, the 5-day event will take place from Thursday 9th to Monday 13th June and will attract some of the biggest influencers in the menswear industry. First launched in 2012, the event now garners almost as much attention as it’s more recognised counterparts (such as LFW) and now has its very own committee, headed up by Editor of GQ Dylan Jones OBE and also includes big names such as David Gandy, Dermott O’Leary, Nick Grimshaw and Tinie Tempah who act as Menswear Ambassadors for the brand.
So, in celebration of both LCM and men’s fashion everywhere, here are our top 5 designers that we are mostly looking forward to seeing on the runway…
Agi & Sam
Supported by NEWGEN MEN courtesy of TopMan for SS16, designers Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton came together after wanting to bring some humour, colour and personality to men’s fashion. Known for their striking prints, the pair has also delved into a womenswear collection and with a colossal social media following behind them, are set to become household names pretty soon.
A very well known and respected name in the fashion industry, Christopher Ræburn is a menswear, womenswear and accessories designer. After showcasing his iconic outwear made from de-commissioned parachutes, his name quickly became synonymous with merging luxury fashion with sustainability, showing the industry that it is possible to make high-end fashion pieces but with integrity and ethics in mind.
He was recently announced as the winner of BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund 2016, and is set to become a huge name on the men’s fashion scene. The Central St Martins Graduate has gained much attention for his core themes of merging uniform and utility, with a dash of showmanship. And with fans such as Drake and Rihanna on board, it’s only a matter of time before Craig really takes off.
Now if Kanye West claims ‘you’re killing it!’ then it’s pretty safe to say the world will – if it hasn’t already – start talking about you imminently. Having studied at the prestigious Parson School of Design in New York, the 24-year-old Hong Kong native really impressed with his collection of layered fabrics and exaggerated shapes; so much so that he became the winner of the H&M Design Award 2017.
Another Central St Martins Graduate, Charles Jeffrey returns for a second year with the help of Topman and Fashion East’s widely respected support scheme MAN. His 2015 Loverboy collection, defined by permeated tailoring, smeared statement jeans and punk rock Goth boots, really made him stand out. We’re dying to see what he has up his sleeve this time…