If the business of ready-to-wear men’s luxury is growing at lightning speed, the men who like to dress hardly have the same habits than women. Motivations, tastes, colors and loyalties: detailed review of the locker room of a decision maker, an urban and trendy.

Since 2009, the men’s luxury is growing at a rate (14%) almost twice that of women. Not only the customers are ever more numerous, but the consumption of some of them, admittedly a minority, increases: they spend occasional buyer status as a collector of Ferrari and Rolex, or Prada bags and sweaters Vuitton. If, in the male imaginary, invest in a watch or a car has never violated manhood, the cloth is a more complicated area. Do not offend the sensibility of its customers while distinguishing itself from the competition, such as the challenge of the houses in an upscale fashion. This springs from this subtle and highly coveted market.

The turning point of the 2000s

Formerly, the luxury menswear, a trickle compared with the female market, was rather caricatured the one hand, they sold sober suits for businessmen; another, fanciful pieces for some dandies. But that was before the turn of the 2000s when both factors have revolutionized this little world. The first is economic and is happening in China: from the man it represents nearly 70% of the luxury market, which has really taken off there ten years and whose growth now reaches 25% year. This preponderance is due to the history of the country where traditionally it is men who travel and need to be stylish while women, confined at home, have no occasion when developing their culture fashion.

The second factor is undoubtedly Hedi Slimane. In 2001, he transformed Christian Dior Monsieur, which produced formal suits by Dior Homme. The two hitherto irreconcilable poles, classic and trendy, merge: the jeans worn with a tuxedo jacket, tie with a leather jacket. The Dior Homme collections meet extraordinary success because, in addition, to redefine the contours of a figure, they embody a desire to “look rock” in the zeitgeist: “Fashion accompanies changes, but does not create them. Hedi Slimane was the instinct of the moment and enjoyed an exceptional megaphone with Dior “says Serge Carreira, a professor at Sciences Po.

Dior’s success creates a snowball effect. The claws man who already had a line reinvest in its rejuvenation like Lanvin launches its “Closet” in 2006 on the catwalks. As for the houses specialized in a specific field (shoes, bespoke …) and have a good will, they become global brands, like the shoemaker Berluti, LVMH property, which has developed ready-to-wear in 2012. While the concurrent holding company, Kering, former PPR acquired the Brioni tailor to develop its range of accessories.

The racketeer, urban and fashionistas

The male clientele is divided into three separate profiles. There is first the business client for whom a garment is a work tool, a way to affirm their social status. In search of formal rooms, tempted by the customized, it can demonstrate a strong attachment to a label if it is satisfied and often turns to “institutions” rich flamboyant inheritance Vuitton, Hermes, Prada … It necessarily buys store to try and get to the garment.

The second and third categories have similar habits: on one side, the trendy urban his delight in buying a strong piece show, on the other, the “fashionistas” sharp following trends near. But these are customers who can order on the web because they know exactly what they want. And if they have favorite brands, they are not loyal to them as much.

In this sociological division piggyback geographical differences: the definition of luxury varies by country. For a Chinese or Brazilian, it may mean wear a visible logo, while for a Japanese or European, it will be rather a cut snug. “But in terms of supply, a Vuitton store in Beijing should look like a Vuitton store in Paris,” said Pascaline Wilhelm, Première Vision Director trends show’s fashion. Because the luxury buyer client, who travel the world, read magazines or blogs, do not like to see that destines him a commodity over another. And even if, in the end, he always buys the same monogrammed bag, he must have the impression that all possible choices, otherwise doubt the credibility of the house. Commercial discreetly adjusts their inventories to local tropism. For example by controlling more red for China (a lucky color); or in Paris, operating a more conceptual selection Bon Marché more “portable” at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.