In fashion, there are brands and then there are identities. The latter have the ability to shape whole categories, especially in men’s wear where trends evolve slowly, heritage brands dominate and time is given to develop compelling stories about performance, quality and comfort.
“Retailers with this status hold a strong brand identity and uniquely relate to their consumers,” according to Edited, a retail decision platform and data company.
And social media is helping these brands and retailers reinforce their carefully crafted image. In a new report, Edited breaks down five staple brands that are shaping the global men’s wear category, one post at a time.
The heritage brand of all heritage brands, Levi’s has uniquely positioned itself as both a pillar of American fashion and a disruptor in sustainability. And the plotline plays out on social media, Edited said, where Levi’s balances messages about sustainable initiatives like America Recycles Day with posts that promote iconic styles like the Trucker jacket and western shirts to a young demographic.
Nike has the sneaker market cornered. The No. 1 performance sportswear brand stays relevant, Edited said, by “highlighting everything they’re good at” on social media. Collaborations, customization and new technologies are among the key talking points for Nike. The flood of athletic- and NBA-inspired fashion reaching mass retailers signals that the messages are working.
Uniqlo has emerged as a go-to source for elevated men’s basics, which has become the brand’s bread and butter as it moves away from formal wear. On social media, the Fast Retailing brand has found a successful recipe of emphasizing its staple knitwear, trousers and its sponsored tennis star, Roger Federer.
Whereas labels like Supreme and Kith operated on their own unique drop calendars, Zara has the art of the drop built right into its fast-fashion schedule. “Though not classified as a streetwear brand, Zara creates its own buzz with highly anticipated collection drops,” Edited said. The retailer has also had a successful run in promoting basics and color-driven trend stories, like maroon.
The Skate Enthusiast
VF Corp.-owned Vans is a rare bird in fashion. The skate brand has achieved mainstream popularity, while remaining an authentic brand for people who subscribe to skate culture. While Vans rose to popularity in the mass market through footwear, Edited noted that its long-sleeved tees and backpacks are thriving across the U.S. and U.K.