4 Womenswear Designers Who Need To Start Designing Menswear- Stat!

It's blindingly obvious to say but it always needs to be said - compared to womenswear, menswear is invariably uninspired, not particularly innovative and let's face it, pretty fucking boring.

Fashion week is not solely to blame, nor are premium brands, if you've been in a high street store lately then you will have been overwhelmed by the plethora of options on offer to the fairer sex. Fashion forward separates to mix and match seamlessly into a wardrobe of classic staples, trend-led outfits inspired by (and perhaps direct copies of) fashion week looks, celebrity street style for a fraction of the price, all over a minimum of two floors. Meanwhile, us men settle for a depressing melange of dated graphic tees, ill fitting faux leather jackets and literally the same shoes that have been on sale for the past twenty years, all huddled onto one floor or perhaps a sad little corner of the kidswear floor (yes, I'm talking about you ZARA). Speaking of ZARA, can any of you dear readers help explain why their menswear is so seismically disjointed from their womenswear offering? Because I can't. I know plenty of girls who get gorgeous pieces from ZARA on a weekly basis while I struggle to find anything that doesn't make me look like an Italian barber with a sports car (not that there's anything wrong in that, it just isn't exactly the aesthetic I strive for).

I've recently Carrie Bradshaw-ly "got to thinking" about from who I would absolutely love to see a menswear offering. Brands and designers who not only show great tailoring prowess which could easily be transferred into menswear, but also a brand that has fun, brings innovation to the table and could offer something wholly new to the lacklustre world of menswear. And so here, in no particular order, are my ideal fantastic four.


As a long-time admirer of Roksanda Illincic I've spent many an hour poring over stills from her shows willing her to adapt her iconic colour blocking and texture mixing techniques to menswear.

Her brand ROKSANDA has gone from strength to strength, particularly over the past five years, bringing its unique blend of whimsical fantasy and structured bad-assery to women the world over. And that is precisely what's missing from menswear - fantasy. It feels as though menswear designers feel so constrained by societal norms that they fear adding a splash of colour to a shoe or a flourish to a jacket for fear perhaps that it would seem almost costume-like, or more likely - that it won't sell. Give us more credit guys.

Roksanda's playful use of tailoring and volume and never been more prevalent than in her Resort 2018 collection, an all-out bombardment of looks that toy with prints, fit, flare and could quite easily be scaled down appeal to the oh-so fragile masculinity of the everyday menswear consumer.

2. Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham has mastered what every designer strives for - she makes clothes people actually want to wear. From the dawn of her brand she has said that she wants to "empower women" and that she mainly designs clothes that she herself wants to wear - of course being a style icon herself, it makes sense that women the world over want to the wear them too.

Beckham spent the first few seasons of her brand trying to be taken seriously as a designer, now that her position among fashion's elite is secure, she's let go. Her more recent collections have been freer, more fun. Something else that she's mastered - work wear. That impossible balance of smart, casual, with a hint of evening. As someone who works in a creative industry I find it nearly impossible to look smart but not overdressed. I'm just not a "suit and tie every day" kinda guy.

Her forays into beauty and accessories have been runaway successes and more recently, she has teased the idea of childrenswear, if that includes boys' clothes then please Victoria I beg you, surely you could scale up?

3. Erdem

For me, no one really encapsulates folkloric floral fantasy quite like Erdem. Elements of medieval and victorian, married with plush fabrics and a kaleidoscopic palette, Erdem's work is always modern and yet each piece feels like an incredible vintage find.

His ability to infuse his looks with florals and frills without compromising on strength and structure, is easily transferrable (and would so incredibly welcome) to menswear. But you know what the best news is? Erdem is this year's H&M designer collaboration and it has been confirmed that he'll be designing menswear for the first time!

When asked how he felt about having designed menswear for the first time Erdem told H&M maagzine "“I found it a real joy...There has to be an easiness to menswear, and a sense of reality. I’m so happy with it, and I think so many women are going to love the men’s collection too.”

Though I've been disappointed with every H&M/designer collab so far, I can't wait to see what Erdem brings to the table and I live in hope that it will inspire him to go full-time on his foray into menswear.

4. Isabel Marant

Now for a former H&M collaborator, Isabel Marant is known for saying things such as "I dress real girls, not fantasies or chauffeur-driven women!" all the while casting 5'10 size 2 blonde models, in (almost) every one of her shows. She is however, a product of idiosyncrasies. With a German mother, French father and a Caribbean stepmother she draws from a sumptuous bank of references all of which come together to create an aesthetic perfect for the globe-trotting but not overtly glamorous elite.

With the world now a smaller place than ever before, those of us who are sartorially inclined love nothing more than pulling influences from far and wide to create and eclectic and personal look. Marant makes this easy and seemingly effortless for millions of women, so where's the male equivalent? Perhaps Etro ticks this box, though their heavily printed 1970s-inspired brand can sometimes seem a little one note. Marant plays with texture, with fabric, and has an element of fun that is so lacking in today's menswear.

No comments