Men gained on what used to be known as the opposite sex in their passion to become the new women. Now certain male consumers think nothing of spending up to $470 for unmentionables. True, the Hanes three-pack is unlikely to go the way of the dodo. Yet with nearly $3 billion spent last year on luxury underclothes, guys in sexy boxer briefs are getting all the likes on Instagram.
Just as startling as the undie revolution was a parallel resurgence of formalwear. The market for evening clothes rose again on the strength of consumers, possibly inspired by red-carpet paragons like Ryan Reynolds, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Seacrest or Eddie Redmayne, abandoning the sour smell and sad-sack look of prom rentals in favor of owning well-priced penguin suits.
Canny image manipulators exploited social media to recast themselves as cartoon characters (image maker Nick Wooster) in dropped-crotch trousers or else Instagram catnip (model Lucky Blue Smith), in the process racking up product endorsements and ad campaigns. Smith nabbed the choice magazine spreads and campaigns for Moncler and Tom Ford, less on the strength of his looks than his 1.7 million Instagram followers.
East Meets West
Emerging markets in Asia continued to drive sales of luxury goods; along with the growth appeared unaccustomed opportunities at Western brands for models of Asian descent. Suddenly, runways and ad campaigns alike were populated with chiseled hunks like Godfrey Gao, Philip Huang or Jae Yoo. And let's not forget Paolo Roldan, a shy Filipino hunk who vaulted to fame in a full frontal pictorial in French Vogue and went on to be cast by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci.
Best Foot Forward
It was hard to know whether the sneaker fiends lining up for the release of Adidas Yeezy or Nike Air Jordan VI planned to wear them or archive them, though it was probably the latter. Just as difficult to gauge is how that onetime emblem of touristic bad taste came perversely to be taken up by designers. Yes, we are talking about sneakers with sandals. That development was almost as alarming as the land-office business generated by Gucci's fur-trimmed slip-on loafers.
The New Man
Masculinity, as traditionally understood, came under attack from all quarters, whether in Michele's hugely influential full-scale menswear show for Gucci (a lace blouse with appliqué parrots to go with that man bun?) or a Rick Owens runway show in Paris that had even jaded fashion editors falling out of their seats. The designer sent models sauntering onto the runway draped in tunics strategically cut through with peepholes revealing their wearers' vulnerable dangly bits.
Guy Trebay, New York Times