Nearly to the day, ICON published a style piece asking 20 men to make their 2020 style predictions. It lasted all of four weeks before it aged poorly, with the COVID-19 soon gripping the globe. As lockdowns were put in place, we regressed to sweatpants and baggy t-shirts which saw the birth of luxury loungewear – what a thought.
Amid the turn of 2021, Mr Porter’s Buying Director, Sam Kershaw has offered a new kind of menswear predictions – hopefully of which will stick longer than our past effort. Speaking to ICON, he has touched not only on trends, but the future of retail. Peruse below.
Sam Kershaw on the luxury landscape post-2020:
“The pandemic has had a dramatic effect, to say the least, and as we navigate through it at MR PORTER, we have returned to our most simplified approach and commitment to delivering the best in product, content and service within the men’s wear marketplace.
As we’ve amassed a global following and customer base over the years, we know that our customers come to us for our curated offering, our inspiring and insightful storytelling, and, most importantly, the service we provide in delivering our goods.
The pandemic has forced people to change their way of dress, and in turn, their shopping habits – with that, there has been a return to well-made products that have an enduring quality to them, both for their versatility in one’s wardrobe and the long life they’ll have in one’s closet. Luxury now equates to quality, and we’re all about helping our customers discover the right investment pieces that can be the beloved workhorses in their wardrobe.”
Sam Kershaw on luxury consumers and brands embracing online retail:
“The online consumer has only grown over the years, and with digitally-native generations maturing in the consumer space, it will only continue to grow. Certain categories, such as luxury watches, have adapted quickly in the last few years, and we will only continue to see this reinforced with more enterprising pioneering in the online space.
Take for instance, our partnership with Watches & Wonders. Together, alongside NET-A-PORTER, we hosted over 14 brands across both sites, the first time all of these brands were available for purchase in such a manner.
Similarly, much of what we do at MR PORTER is to help our customers discover brands that might not have had wide, or global distribution before joining our site. Earlier in September, we celebrated Italian craftsmanship with the launch of Italian Masters, a capsule collection of over 25 brands from one of the most important regions of time-honored luxury manufacturing. With the collection’s launch, we were able to bring our global customer to Italy, and vice-versa, deliver new and existing Italian brands to our global customer. Such an exchange can only happen online – especially during these times – and we are proud to enliven the luxury shopping experience in this way.”
On the success of in-house, private labels:
“Mr P. is a very special brand. It’s a labor of love from our team of designers, buyers and merchandisers, who all know and love quality men’s wear. Since launching in November 2017, it has quickly risen to being one of MR PORTER’s fastest growing labels, and sits within MR PORTER’s top 10 performing brands.
We believe the brand’s leading maxim, “Easy pieces. Smart Details. Enduring Style”, has attributed to the label’s success, and is a guiding compass for the development of new categories and propositions, such as our latest collection which features a smattering of luxury pieces sourced from some of the world’s most accomplished artisans and crafted using truly top-notch materials and fabrics.
The collection includes Goodyear welted shoes made in Northampton, UK, Napa lambskin leather jackets made in Florence, alongside some of the finest cashmere jumpers out there. We’re proud of Mr P.’s continued growth and evolution, and based on past feedback from our customers, we hope they’ll respond as positively too.”
For more, visit Mr Porter here.