MENSWEAR IN IRELAND ARCHIVE
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · JANUARY 2014
Welcome to the January issue of Menswear in Ireland, the first of five issues for 2014. With the new year in full swing, we've been working hard to bring you a feature-packed issue brimming with all the latest news, views and need-to know.
With the sun having recently set on 2013, what better time than to find out how different independent retailers across the country have found trading in recent months. Our 'So, How Was It For You?' feature includes six revealing viewpoints on everything from best-selling labels and customers' spending patterns to planned changes for the year ahead. It all makes, we think, for fascinating reading.
With the grande dame of O'Connell Street, Clerys department store, having recently re-opened for business, an interview with Simon Smith, Clerys' Commercial Director, and Caroline Reynolds, Best Men's Wear's Area Sales Manager, was another feature that proved particularly timely.
Our fashion focus this issue is on the AW14/15 season which, judging from the collections we have seen to date, promises to be one of the most exciting seasons in recent years. Check out the first part of our seasonal preview in Collection Reports and judge for yourself. The concluding section in our two-part feature will be in the February issue.
Elsewhere, the spotlight is placed on Meath where we trawled the county's streets to run the rule over some of its independent menswear stores. Our findings appear on page 16. Other highlights in your January issue include our regular features such as News and Showtalk, as well as trends reports on AW14 suits and shirts.Enjoy the read and see you next month!
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND ·JANUARY 2012
It's a brand new year and that means new beginnings. This past year was the hardest on record for the mens trade in Ireland. All retailers were expecting a slight rise in figures for the month of December, as the previous year (2010) was very bad due to the weather but as we have discovered, mild weather can be just as detrimental to sales as snow. Trade was very tough in the last Quarter up to Christmas week however there was a slight rise for Christmas week. To see how five top mens retailers faired in 2011, turn to page 8.
2012 is not going to be easy with all prices under a serious strain, tighter margins, increased VAT and high rents but in an ironic turn of events, it seems the demand is still high for retail space as you can see in news.
On page 12 Menswear in Ireland talk to the McCloskey brothers of Evolve menswear in Donegal whose positivity and realism has helped them navigate these trying times. There is also an interview with Karl Danek of Club of Comfort on page 14 who shares some of the company's history as well as their plans for the future.
As well as all that, we have trend reports and collection reports for Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 so you can stay ahead of the curve.
We will be back again next month with more of AW12 and will focus on denims, streetwear and leisurewear.
As we say goodbye to 2011, we welcome 2012 with open arms and renewed vigour. We wish you a prosperous beginning to 2012.
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND ·FEBRUARY 2011
Welcome to the February issue of Menswear in Ireland, our second of five magazines for 2011.
What's new since last issue? Plenty, actually. The snow has (mercifully) melted, the trade shows have kicked off in style and the last signs of the Christmas sales have disappeared.
Having spoken to a number of retailers, the feeling is that, while times are undoubtedly tough, business is ticking over for those prepared to go the extra mile - whether it be offering extra-competitive prices, organising special in-store events and promotions or simply offering the best customer service possible.
Our feature on the Christmas Sales highlights the disparate experiences of a number of Irish indies across the country. Where some spoke favourably of the recent sales period, pointing to substantial footfall and a rapid clearing of stock, others found the experience less successful than in recent years.
One man who is certainly brimming with energy and positivity is Simon Cope of the UK-based clothes manufacturer Skopes, who provides this issue's interview. Bursting with innovative and ambitious ideas, the affable Yorkshireman reveals his vision for the brand, explains how he stays motivated and his plans for the future.
In keeping with the January issue, the fashion focus is still on the AW 11/12 season. In addition to the concluding section of our two-part guide to the season's collections, we've compiled a trend report on casualwear.
Regular readers will notice a sizeable footwear-related content this issue, which is indicative of the trend for many retailers to add footwear to their product offering. For those considering this, the forthcoming Bróga - The Irish Shoe Fair, which takes place at the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, Co Kildare from 27-28 February, is a must. The two-day event provides the perfect opportunity to meet with a number of menswear footwear suppliers and look at current stock ranges, which are suitable for dresswear and business, as well as forward order collections. Be sure to check out the full report on Bróga on P.12
Also included in this issue is our popular Shopcall feature, which sees our mystery shopper give is verdict on the recently opened Reef & Co in Malahide, Co Dublin, as well as all our regular features such as News and Showtalk. We hope you enjoy the read!
We return again in the summer with our back-to-back July and August issues. In the meantime, please do continue to let us know how you feel about the magazine, what features you enjoy and what you'd like to see covered. We really value your opinion and greatly appreciate the time you take to share your views and opinions.
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND JANUARY 2011
A warm welcome (following a particularly chilly recent spell) to the January issue of Menswear and a very happy new year to all our readers.
The focus for this edition – the first of our five issues for 2011 – is on the AW 2011/12 collections. In addition to the first of our two-part preview of the season's key collections, we've put shirts, suits, separates and knitwear under the fashion microscope to bring you the skinny on what's set to make the sartorial grade.
While we're strong advocates of the glass-half-full approach, only the most blinkered could argue that recent times have not posed a considerable challenge for just about everyone in the retail sector. Tough times have called for tough measures and businesses across the country have been tightening their belts and rationalising their operations to minimise costs. Sadly, not all have been successful, yet others have. We should all take heart, then, in the experience of Scanlon's Menswear (formerly Murphy Menswear) in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, whose heartening story is detailed on P.19
Also included in this issue are our regular features, such as News and Showtalk, which previews some of the leading trade shows on the fashion calendar.
We return next month when we'll be putting the spotlight on the casual collections for
A/W 2011/12 and the main trends in this area.
In the meantime, enjoy the read!
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND JULY 2010
With the spotlight placed firmly on SS11, we've put together a comprehensive preview of the key menswear clothing ranges for the season. From Camel Active to carl Gross and Alberto to Venti, we've got the key collections covered. Watch out for the concluding instalment of our two-part preview in the August issue. Trends in menswear may not evolve at the same breakneck speed as those in ladieswear, but that's not to say there have not been some crucial developments. What are the key looks and trends in the international men's fashion arean for spring/summer season in 2011? Turn to page14. , where we bring you ten of the leading looks and trends as identified by the online fashion portal Fashion Snoops, to find out........
Closer to home, there's ben plenty of change on the domestic high street. Certain developments in the Irish menswear market have been disappointing to witness - the closure of a number of independent retailers, for instance, many of whom have been forced to cease trading due to high rents. It's not all doom and gloom, however, particularly at Clerys in Dublin City Centre. The department store has undergone something of a fashion metamorphosis in recent times, having teamed up with Best Menswear to provide a superb clothing offering. Check out our feature on the store's new and improved menswear department on Page 12
Keen to keep you up-to-date on not just the fashion world but also the crucial business of retail, one of our key features this issue is strictly business-related. If you're loking to stay ahead of the competition, Duncun Graham fo Retail Vision's timely advice for businesses looking to enhance their company's service and competititveness could prove an extremely useful read.
Also included in this issue are all out regulars such as News and Showtalk. Enjoy the read!
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · FEBRUARY 2010
The season is in full swing, and menswear in Ireland has a new outlook, new aspirations, and new horizons. On that note, I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you that this will be my last issue of Menswear in Ireland magazine – at the end of this month my itchy feet are taking me off to pastures new for some world travels.
Having worked primarily on our womenswear magazine, Futura, for the majority of the time I’ve been involved with Sky Publishing, it has only been within the last year that I’ve come to know many of the characters in the menswear trade. Despite this, I can honestly say that you have been the most pleasant, professional and genuine group of people I’ve ever had pleasure and good luck to work with.
In the time I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed dizzying highs and shocking lows for retail. I am sure though, that with the resilience and adaptability of the members of this industry, it will even out and rise again. I’m just sorry I won’t be here to see good times return, because although the Celtic Tiger years are now firmly in the past, the rebuilding of this country’s retail scene is - whether you realise it or not - already underway. The devastation of scores of retailers has been sad in many cases and left far more severely weakened, but the long term view is that it will leave the market better positioned, better adaptable to emerging trends and better able to weather any future economic tumbles.
Buyers have adapted by adjusting their buying methods and reassessing the value of their labels – in some cases, opting for ‘value’ non-brands. This issue we speak to members within the trade on both topics; the reality of buying from stock, and the importance of branding – not just for collections, but for retailers too. Elsewhere, knitwear continues to dominate as a key product area for the Autumn Winter season, and trends for 2010 can be found on p.12.
Menswear in Ireland will be back in July with the launch of the seasonal summer collections for 2011. In the meantime, I wish you all a world of luck,
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · JANUARY 2010
Hello, and welcome to the first issue of menswear in ireland for 2010
The new year may have been ushered in along with snow, frost and ice making the first trading weeks of 2010 difficult, but as we enter a whole new decade there is the certainty that things will get better, and that they will change. In this issue, we have many interviews with brands, and they’re coming out fighting. Baumler, one of the biggest stories of 2009, has new owners and is preparing to bounce back, while longstanding quality supplier Carl Gross celebrates its 85th anniversary with a positive outlook for the future. Elsewhere, a look at how temporary retail is gaining momentum in the form of popup shops (on p.20) demonstrates that every aspect of the
market, from ownership to form, is adapting.
January though, means something other than a new year for retailers – the buying season is upon us once again. With a couple of cautious seasons behind us, planning ahead for forward and in-season buying is key. It may feel like placing bets but buyers need to put down those orders and demonstrate their confidence in the brands that are working for them – suppliers have been working harder than ever to give customers what they want and now it’s up to buyers to do the same. While most retailers may not have met targets over the Christmas retail period, all have now adjusted expectations and for 2010, there seems to be a feeling that we’re starting from scratch. This is ground zero, a time to build your business back up to where you want it to be, and what you buy now will reflect that.
Judging by the first of the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections, the offer is wide and relatively ‘safe’, with an evolution of past trends rather than complete revolution. The casual theme continues for businesswear, checks are a huge story and premium fabrics come to the fore. Detail, cut and finish are hugely important and set the branded product apart from cheaper imitations on the high street. This issue we focus on the new lines to bring you trends in shirts and suits, as well as reports from some of the new collections. We’ll be back in February with our casual issue, looking at denim, knitwear, and more AW10 collections.
Until then, all the best,
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · NOVEMBER 2009
Welcome to the last issue of Menswear in Ireland for 2009. This has been a year of trials and tribulations for menswear retailers, and the news that powerhouses like Baumler can still go into receivership shows that although those who’d survived thus far have done well, there’s still a way to go before the market will feel ‘safe’ again.
With this in mind, keeping two steps ahead and a tight grip on every aspect of business is at the top of most retailers’ agendas for 2010. Stock ranges seem to be one way forward that buyers are beginning to make the most of. Buying little and often opens up cash flow, refreshes the shop floor in-season and gives greater control over stock levels. We take a look at some of the brands providing inseason services for pre-Christmas delivery on page 16.
Attitude is another way to sink or swim, and appreciating achievements – big or small – are currently more important than ever. This issue Menswear caught up with Anthony Ryan (see page 12), as Ryan’s of Galway celebrated their centenary, to see what it is that keeps a business working over such a period of time. We were also in Dundalk with Tony McDonnell menswear as they relaunched following a fire and subsequent shopfitting.
When we return in January 2010 we will be previewing the Autumn Winter 2010 collections. In the meantime, we wish you a happy and healthy end to 2009 and thank you for your continued
support for the magazine.
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · AUGUST 2009
IS TODAY'S ECONOMY HURTING YOUR HEALTH, AS WELL AS YOUR BANK BALANCE?
It seems that every day we have to endure disheartening news about our failing economy, consumer confidence, and our disastrous summer weather. While us Irish are notorious for rising above it and from the recent trade shows appear to be one of the more positive countries, this takes its toll, and it’s important to look after number one in the midst of everything.
This job is vital for survival. We all know how stressful it is as the buying season puts added pressure on time and finances. Retailers are struggling to keep on top of business, staff and weekly returns, and are now expected to invest again for next season. It is daunting, especially with the year so far being more difficult than we could have imagined. Even the best sales people are questioning whether they are wasting both time and talent.
Be assured, you are not. The present climate is difficult, but it is not personal. We are all life-long students, and the fashion industry is indeed a steeper learning curve than others. Re-invest in training if you and your staff need it, watch your competitors and see if you can learn from them. Make the most of whatever sales opportunities do come your way. If you don’t have some kind of online presence or sales operation in place, get moving on this. Look, listen and learn. Now it is more important than ever to keep the spark going, to motivate yourself, your staff, and your customers. Remember that bad times will pass, and keep smiling at your customers. Believe in yourself and your business and expect the best.
It is your job to keep positive, to focus on the good, and believe that the solution to success is being a master of everything you do. If you believe in yourself and your future it will indeed improve your heath (from mental to physical), as well as, eventually, your wealth.
I wish you all a great season and look forward to seeing you again in October for our Pre-Christmas stock issue of Menswear in Ireland.
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · JULY 2009
EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING
Hello again, and welcome to the first of our summer editions of Menswear in Ireland, where the focus will be on Spring Summer 2010 collections.
This issue we bring you the style insight into the trends for S/S 2010, along with the first part of our Collection Report featuring key brands and collections. While the emphasis in fashion may be on nonchalance and a relaxed casuality, the same cannot be said for the industry. Times are tough, everyone is feeling the pinch and businesses are having to adapt to remain competitive. 2009 has so far been a year of cautiousness, estimation and turmoil, and despite signs of green shoots there is still a long way to go before retailers can feel comfortable again.
Perhaps though, this was the problem. If every cloud has a silver lining maybe we can see this shake-up for our industry as a blessing in disguise. There is a fine line between comfort and laziness, and there were many retailers who were walking that line a few months ago. While the majority of Irish retailers have reassessed and adapted their business, it is amazing still to see independents with dirty windows, scruffy staff and unkempt shop floors (yes, we’re really still seeing this).
But for every shop that has given up the fight, there are those stand-out ones who have pulled their punches and are surviving, and these will be the future of our trade. In our Industry Report on p.15, Paul Golden talks to various segments of the trade to see how they’re coping, and the answers reveal a steely determination that, although none will emerge unscathed, this time will pass.
With this in mind, it’s time to turn to the light that the summer has let in, both actually and metaphorically through the new collections’ uplifting palettes. Mustering and retaining motivation can be difficult but getting excited about these collections is essential for this buying season – if you’re halfheartedly buying instead of really buying into it how can you expect your customers to!? Next month we’ll bring you the second part of our seasonal showcase, special features on underwear and casual lifestyle brands, and much more. Until then,
All the best – and enjoy!
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · FEBRUARY 2009
Some of you may recognise me as a familiar face from working with Futura or Footwear in Ireland magazines, to others I may be completely new – so I’m pleased to introduce myself as Tara Carroll, the new fashion editor of Menswear in Ireland.
Having been originally more focused on the ladies end of the fashion business, I’m thrilled to be given the chance to work with the menswear side, and I look forward to getting to know you all. I’d also like to take the opportunity to welcome any news, views or suggestions you may wish to express – please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01 283 6782.
Since before Christmas, the menswear sector has withstood intensly difficult times, but have the sales of 2009 fared any better? This issue, Yvonne Reddin talks to retailers around the country to find out.
Moving on from the real-life nightmare before Christmas though, we have an issue which focuses on the younger end of the market, looking at denim, urban and casualwear collections from some of the leading brands in Ireland, including Boxfresh and ethical brand Kuyichi, plus the relaunched accessories line from Levi’s.
We also take a closer look at what is set to be one of the biggest trends for A/W 09: Knitwear. The diverse range of knitwear now on offer stretches from functional to cutting edge style – check out p.12 to see what we mean. Also attracting attention are men’s underwear and hosiery, which are often seem as the recession-proof equivalent to lipsticks as a pick-me-up buy. We preview some of the collections on p.20.
Good luck for the season, and until next time,
Tara Carroll, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · JANUARY 2009
NEW YEAR, NEW SEASON
As the memory of Christmas fades and the last of the sales are removed from shop floors, the obvious questions on everyone’s lips concern that of the economy and how it is likely to perform in the short and medium term.
The ‘R’ word may be common currency in the vernacular, but just how adversely affected has the menswear market been? Our feature 2008: The Year That Was presents the experiences of some of the country’s leading independents. The results, which can be found on P.40, make for interesting reading.
With the Sterling exchange rate becoming increasingly favourable, a growing number of shoppers in the Republic are travelling to Northern Ireland to avail of cheaper prices. Our feature Break For The Border examines the impact on business for a number of stores close to or on the north-south border.
Interviews this issue take us to Dun Laoghaire in Co. Dublin where Martin O’Byrne of Frewyn & Alyward gives an insight to the store’s success and explains how he hopes to guide it through the increasingly testing times that lie ahead. We also head north to Belfast to catch up with Barry Corvan who reveals the story behind the growth of his Ripstop label.
Our fashion focus is placed on the A/W 09/10 season. In addition to the first of our two-part preview of the season’s key collections, we put shirts and outwear under the sartorial microscope, examining the key trends in each. With all this and much, much more, we hope you’ll continue to find Menswear your indispensible guide to the season.
Enjoy the read!
Alexander Fitzgerald, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · OCTOBER 2008
CHANGING TIMES CALL FOR A CHANGE IN BUSINESS
Pick up a paper, listen to the radio or watch a news bulletin and you’ll inevitably be greeted with the same prognosis: doom and gloom in the economy and no perceptible bright light ahead anytime soon.
It’s a worrying time, certainly, not least for retailers whose fortunes rise and fall in line with the shopping patterns of customers. Following the recent boom years, when retail become a national hobby, rather than a task to be completed when items needed replacing, and credit cards were swiped with ever-increasing alacrity, we’re now staring bleakly at a what many economists are forecasting as a heavy recession. The situation is, of course, unlikely to have been helped by the recent budget.
So, how can retailers protect themselves? Stock ordering is certainly one means of reducing the risk of being left, at the end of a season, with piles of unsold clothing. It’s a technique that has proved particularly popular on the continent and one that Irish retailers are now adopting in greater numbers. It’s also the focus of this issue.
In addition to an interview with Heiko Arend, the export manager for German brand Digel, we take a look at some of the NOS (Never Out of Stock) collections available to the Irish retailers and speak with a selection of retailers to find out their views on the service.
Also covered in this issue is a look at some of the latest trends in shopfitting and display, and our regular Shop Call feature, where our mystery shopper find much to impress at Macs in Kilkenny.
Best wishes for the rest of the season!
Alexander Fitzgerald, Editor
MENSWEAR IN IRELAND · JULY 2008
SUMMER TRADE IN FULL SWING
Welcome to the July issue of Menswear, the first of two back-to-back summer editions for 2009. The style spotlight this issue is centred on the S/S 09 collections. A two-part Collection Report section, which will be concluded in the August issue, looks at collections from the key menswear brands, while our Trend Report section focuses on the cuts, colours, styles and silhouettes that will be making the grade in shirting and suiting respectively. Two of our features this issue centre on two of Ireland’s leading department stores. Paul O’Connor, menswear buyer for Brown Thomas, explains the vision behind the store’s recently revamped menswear department. Meanwhile, across the Liffey, the future of the proposed Northern Quarter development on and around the existing Arnotts site looks no nearer to being settled, following An Bord Pleanála’s recent rejection of plans for the scheme. Paul Golden takes a closer look at developments in his article on page 34.
Also included is a report on what appears to be a blatant price differential in the clothing market between items in sterling and in euro. But are Irish customers really paying over the odds? Jessie Collins' findings, which can be seen on p.15, certainly make for interesting reading."
Other highlights this issue include a preview of a selection of the leading trade shows, as well as our regular News section which will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in the menswear market.
Best wishes for the rest of the season!
Alexander Fitzgerald, Editor