Capturing The Mens Eyewear Market


ED Bennett SS15- Gentle MonsterLast week we talked about Sacred and Purple Cows and does that apply to your Mens Eyewear Selection? Men are the smaller percentage of eyewear buyers, men only buy brown and black, men don’t want color.. are those Sacred Cows?

Traditionally when we think about mens fashion in the USA.. boring…… Even when you look at Menswear on the Runway, women have 3 shows to every menswear show…. Why, because mens trends tend to be slow moving and staid.

The good news is that due to TV shows such as Mad Men, mens designers just at Thom Browne, Jeremy Scott, Giles Deacon and Rock Stars such as JayZ, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake and Usher   have taking men style in new directions. Add in the Internet and the menswear market is growing faster than women’s. In fact, Mens Retail sales were up 4.1% to $101.8 Billion.

It all started about 20 years ago with the metro-sexual look, which spurned the typical ‘macho’ male attitude about not taking care of what you look like. Today caring about grooming, clothing and accessories has ramped up so much that companies such as Prada, Lanvin, Gucci, Hermes and J. Crew, Tankfarm & Co are opening separate stores just for men. Nordstrom just bought a mens online style service Trunk Club for $350 million. Michael Kors, Coach and others are making a push into the menswear arena.

An article in the LA Times in an article put the the mens market into four categories

Tillmann Lauterback SS14
Tillmann Lauterback SS14
  • Lumber-Sexual-A Metro-sexual who has the need to hold on to some outdoor based rugged-ness, thus opting to keep a finely trimmed beard‘  (Urban Dictionary)  the new word for hipsters. Think Paul Bunyon, Don
  • Upscale Casual– Clean shaven or light beard. Quality T’s and jeans. Designer tennis shoes.
  • Modern Gent– Trimmed beard, goatee. Will wear button- down shirts,  wing-tipped or similar shoes.
  • Urban Dapper– Light beard, mustache. Black, boots or sneakers for skaters.

Add in:

  • Tech Couture, tattoos, piercings, hoodies, t-shirts, flaps and or tennis shoes. Backpacks with space for tech gear.
  • Suave Surfers– This surfers want to be the Anti-Fashion, wearing surf type gear, board shorts, beanies and occaisional straw hat,  flip flops, hoodies, baggy jeans and branded Surf T-s. (Volcom, QuikSilver, Rusty’s) They look like they are always looking for the next wave.
  • Tasteful (or tasteless) Tatt Couture..

Then you have the:

  • Henry’s (high earner, not rich yet)
  • Yummy’s (young, urban male)

This means the mens market is Breaking Big (or Bad) and starting to differentiate and men are starting to finally starting to develop their own style.

How does that effect the eyecare professional?

Take a look at your boards, what are you offering to each of the above demographics? Do your boards basically look the same? Are you showing color and shapes for men? Are you presenting Runway Looks to your men?. Have you grown your mens boards? Are you presenting colorful and unique products?

Something To Think About:

  • Having Trunk Shows exclusively for Men.
  • Relook at your email marketing and Develop a Mens email campaign for certain age groups or types.
  • Network with Mens Stores, Barbers and the like to cross promote.
  • Network with Doctors that may see more men than women.
  • If you are a man.. wear unique and colorful products.
  • Offer a weekly Mens Health Tip via Social Media.

The menswear market is growing and perhaps it is time to evaluate your market and products to capture this segment.






Claire Goldsmith MidPage