Tech-based. Fashion-focused. Startups. Call them what you want; define them in a way that suits your needs. As the fashion tech space is exploding, so is the concentration on men’s fashion–here is a trending list of some of our favorite menswear companies ruling this realm.
Frank & Oak
Online men’s clothing shop Modasuite now brings us Frank & Oak, a new site designed and curated for the twenty-something male. This site, blocked by a registration wall, was featured in February on TechCrunch and is very adamant that they are not just another flash sales site. Once the user enters this exclusive, relatively new site, he’s greated by a letter from CEO Ethan Song, describing the thoughts behind the current purchasable collection. This site not only offers Private Label clothing designed by Modasuite but they differentiate themselves by allowing users to join the Hunt Club. Simply by signing up, the Hunt Club delivers clients a monthly crate filled with both designer and private label threads curated specifically to the user’s personality. After completing a brief questionnaire, the crate arrives and users are charged for what they keep, and return what they do not want to add to their wardrobe. Frank & Oak modernizes the way men shop, assuming they purchase less frequently (around once a month) and would prefer to surpass the tedious act of stepping into a retailer and dealing with the crowd. Backed by Modasuite, I’d expect big things from this innovative site in the near future.
Gotta show my employer some love! Fellas, listen up. If there’s anything your girl likes more than her man taking care about what he puts on his back in the morning, it’s how much he spends–or rather doesn’t spend–to make him look that spectacular. Being one of the first to take over the flash sale space in the United States market, GiltMAN not only built its own back end interface from the ground up, but also revolutionized the way men shop for fashion over the web. Much more than an e-commerce retailer, GiltMAN capitalizes on the sense of urgency customers have when they are looking to purchase designer brands for less. As GiltMAN continues to grow, social media and the integration of editorial content are vital to keeping their menswear market knowledgeable and informed on the latest trends in the marketplace. So, when we wake up in the morning, don’t assume your girl is looking through that iPhone of yours to see who else you’re texting–she’s secretly checking to make sure you’re in the know with the Gilt app.
In case you’ve been living under a rock since 2007, you can snag an invite here.
With its handy dandy iPhone app, Pockets Menswear has now made the brand names they carry online and in their five brick and mortar locations even more accessible for users worldwide. Not only does their fine brand search allow users to quickly search for the latest duds, but they add a large dose of editorial to their mix. Their verbose blog and style guide not only spew what is trending in fashion, but they romanticize all aspects of menswear. They note icons, but also divvy out tailoring tips; they even go so far as to mention the latest hairstyles–and if you have an undercut please allow me to be the first bird to swoon–making this all-inclusive app a must to download.
This e-commerce retailer is tapping into bespoke roots, and users are able to customize all things suiting. The customer can check out each current collection on Indochino via still image, lookbook, or video. Not only is there a video to guide the user through taking his own measurements, but after he makes his selections, he can also have a say in the details by choosing from many unique details for free. His custom suit, shirting, or whatever happens to suit his needs arrives at his door–or in most NYCer-who-lives-in-a-walk-up cases, to work–no more than 21 days later, wrinkle-free and ready to wear. As this site continues to grow, the 21 day lead time will undoubtedly change to something along the lines of “faster than you can strap your dub monks.”
Nordstrom x Bonobos
These days, Nordstrom can’t get its hands on e-commerce sites quick enough. The acquisition of HauteLook is old news–especially with their new $16.4M investment in Bonobos underway. Nordstrom will be launching Bonobos in 20 brick and mortar stores, ultimately demolishing the e-commerce-only strategy Bonobos has been comfortably using since Brian and Andy created the company in 2007. The cult following the brand has accumulated just by creating “better fitting pants” is absolutely amazing. Now I realize neither brand is doing something innovative in the technology industry, but this new partnership is evidence of what can occur when you take a fashion concept, and infuse it with the latest technology to create a brand. I have a hard time believing that Bonobos sought out to sell into Nordstrom, but in the past few years they have made themselves relevant enough in the fashion tech space for big players to notice.
Entrepreneurs. Curators. Innovators. Call them what you want, and say what you will, but there’s no doubt you will be hearing more and more about these players in the menswear world.
Katelyn Glass is a TWF contributor, focused on menswear. She works at Gilt Groupe. Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.