Maybe it's due to the ever-more urgent demands for a faster turnaround of both fashion imagery and product, or an increasingly unashamed display of dandyism from the postmodern male, but formal presentation of menswear - often considered the bashful brother of its high-octane female counterparts - has become increasingly important of late. Milan and Paris have their own dedicated weeks earmarked in January and June, New York has expanded their calendar to include the likes of Duckie Brown, Tim Hamilton and Thom Browne on the schedule, and during the past few years London's been muscling in on the action.
Fashion East and Topman's MAN initiative was, until last season, just one show amongst many, generally crammed in at the end of the week. That said, in four years the MAN show has launched talents including Aitor Throup, Deryck Walker, Kim Jones, Siv Støldal and Cassette Playa as well as raising Topman's influence and prestige. From last season, however, London's menswear game has been upped another notch, as MAN expanded to take over a whole day to showcase talent from an eclectic selection of new names - you may remember our championing of London label Sibling last season, whose film presentation was show alongside installations by Martine Rose, Jaiden rVa James and Katie Eary. The latter will now be showing alongside Christopher Shannon, J W Anderson and Topman Design on the MAN catwalk to close London Fashion Week.
The fabulous Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East quite justifiably states that she is 'very excitied by the industry's massive response to MAN and proud that our initiative has kick-started a successful menswear scene at London Fashion Week.' As with the majority of the shows, MAN will move to London Fashion Week's new home at Somerset House - just in time for the unveiling of SHOWstudio: Fashion Revolution in the same venue.