Men’s fashion has evolved over the years to incorporate more styles and fashion forward items.  Other men’s-only retailers offer customers the option of designing their own custom dress shirts, providing choices of size, pattern, collar type, buttons, cuff link style, monogram options, and other features.  The custom tailored concept is very popular among men, young and old, and it is now being introduced in online shopping to make it more convenient for men to custom design their shirts without even going to retailers.  While the industry often focuses on women’s designers and luxury fashion houses when examining marketing and advertising initiatives, the world of men’s fashion cannot be ignored.

The Way I See It

  • I see men’s fashion retailers owning the custom tailored space through sharp ads and marketing campaigns that highlight this service, with men in custom-made dress shirts with coordinating ties, sports coats, and accessories emphasizing a sharp, coordinated, classic look.
  • I see more men’s fashion retailers leading the way in digital and social media for marketing, taking advantage of the popularity of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms to reach target male demographics.
  • Menswear emphasizes quality and fit in marketing, and the importance of brand reputation and awareness is of utmost importance.

The Way the Industry Sees It

I sat down with Alan Behar, CEO of Ike Behar, to discuss how the menswear industry has evolved and what advertising and marketing tactics most men’s fashion retailers find best.

Let’s talk about what sorts of advertising and marketing avenues the menswear industry typically finds the most success with.  How has that evolved over the years and where do you see it changing, if at all, in the next five to ten years?  Does it differ in any way from marketing women’s fashion brands?

Like most of the menswear industry, Ike Behar has traditionally focused on popular print media as our main avenue, and while it has been and continues to be quite successful, our tactics have certainly had to evolve.  The landscape is crowded, and for smaller niche brands it can be quite difficult to stand out, especially considering the degree to which the larger well-known brands have come to dominate these more traditional advertising venues.  So to that end, we’ve taken a move towards a more collective approach to our marketing strategy.  We’re using social media to help create and frame dialogue around our company.  We’re targeting key markets through direct retail, using such localized tactics to service our more traditional advertising, while appealing to our customers more directly.  For us, it’s all about trying to cut through the noise so we can have the chance to show our customers what a fine brand Ike Behar is.

Ike Behar’s brand is focused on custom tailored shirts and ties, the history of Ike Behar, his journey to the U.S., and the high-quality classic styles of his shirts.  How do men’s fashion retailers build brand awareness and brand reputation, and how important is it to drive return customers and sales?

Well, while historically our brand has been known for our exquisite shirts and ties, we have really grown far beyond that.  In recent years, we’ve brought that same reputation for quality and style to a huge array of products for both men and boys, including suits, sport coats, loungewear, and much more to complement those shirts and ties.  So, our history and Ike’s journey play an important role, mostly because they show that we produce a great quality and have done so consistently for over half a century.  However, we also find it important to remind our customers that we are very much a contemporary brand, and that a large part of our continued success can be attributed to the fact that our product line is diverse and constantly evolving not only to meet trends but to create them.  And one of the best ways to strengthen that reputation is simply by proving it to our customers with our line, because we really believe that someone can buy any one of our products and will be satisfied enough to try all that Ike has to offer.

Continue Reading Spring Fashion Series Part 2: Men’s Fashion