The Man Initiative

There is something very enticing about the “MAN initiative.”

Especially as a female reader of all things fashion, it is intriguing and exciting to see the growth of the international menswear market! Key fashion influencers within the European fashion world have pulled away from the fashion creatives norm and shawn a long awaited light on menswear design talent. These influencers, Fashion East and TOPMAN, collaborated in 2005 to create a support initiative, the MAN initiative, focused solely on the growth and development of young menswear designers. This amazing support scheme, originally created in 2000 by Fashion East, has rendered multiple menswear design masters and created a spot for menswear on the international fashion rollercoaster.

As stated by London Collections Men, “MAN began London’s first menswear day of shows [in 2009] before paving the way for the launch of London Collections Men in June 2012.” Fashion East and TOPMAN’s joint initiative looks to showcase 2 to 3 emerging designers each year at London Fashion Week on menswear day. These design talents are selected by a well known panel of fashion professionals and are set up with prime showcase location, catwalk exposure, and fully installed showcase platforms at LCM. This is an exciting time for the emerging designers to share their collections with the UK and international industry reps. This exposure is crucial in the first months of a new designer arising, which is known as the make or break period  for these young artists. The MAN platform also exposes their designers to UK’s fashion ally, Paris. Optimal showcasing directly correlates with designers collections being picked up after their first debut! This is something for us Canadians to take a look at, what can we do to support and develop our designers? How can we create a front row seat for menswear in our fashion industry?

The MAN initiative activated a powerful design community! In developing menswear talents, a base has been created for the future of menswear. This movement has motivated the masses and is spreading throughout the fashion industry. The modern approach to menswear, as Per Gotesson has stated, ““it is inspired by real-life function and needs: “I like normal things, because they are more valid socially – I just want the guy I’m dressing to feel great.””

Style is genderless and the fashion world is a unique community that all should and will feel confident to thrive in! The MAN initiative has opened the doors to endless opportunities for emerging menswear designers!

The emerging designers that have been selected to showcase in this years London Collections Men are:

Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY (second season), Feng Chen Wang, Per Götesson

Some LCM veterans that have caught my eye are:

Home of Hommes, Diego Vanassibara, Ettinger


With those bold designs and structured masterpieces, I hope you are left inspired by these young designers vision and how they perceive style.

By: Rio Hanlan