MEDIA MEN'S FASHIONS: Media Roundup - Men's fashion threads its wayinto general media. Though men's fashion will never get the same mediaattention as women's, more and more outlets are giving the sector acloser look. David Ward reports

Anyone who has ever visited the newsroom of an average American

newspaper or magazine knows that men's fashion and male journalists do

not mix well.



While every trend in women's clothing receives substantial coverage in a

wide variety of media outlets, men's fashion is covered by a much

smaller number of outlets. The good news is that the number of

publications now looking at men's fashion has gone up, especially in

ethnic publications and those titles targeting a younger market.



Reaching beyond core men's magazines and into more mainstream outlets

doesn't always guarantee the right audience. Bill Daddi, executive vice

president with New York-based agency Lippe Taylor, says, 'The men's

traditional fashion magazines reach an urban, younger and much more

fashion conscious consumer.'



Gaining a new audience



But reaching out to more mainstream outlets and older consumers is much

more difficult. He adds: 'The problem is that men's fashion is not a

topic that generates a hell of a lot of editorial in the mainstream

press. TV and newspapers are one of the few consistent ways of reaching

men in their early 30s to mid 50s,' Daddi says.



Like women's fashion, the US menswear industry tends to be centered in

New York, with most of the men's fashion houses, as well as many of the

key journalists, located there. The leading men's fashion journalists

include GQ editor-in-chief Art Cooper; The New York Times Magazine

fashion editors Robert Bryan and David Farber; John Mather of Men's

Journal; Marcus Teo of W; Hal Rubenstein of InStyle; Stefano Tonchi of

Esquire; and freelance writer, author and E! network contributor Frank

DeCaro.



Robert Bryan and David Faber are currently brainstorming for ideas for

the next New York Times Magazine menswear supplement which is due to be

published on September 23. 'We're in talks about what's going in it,'

says Farber. 'The military look is huge.'



By and large, traditional consumer men's outlets such as Esquire, Men's

Journal and Conde Nast's GQ still carry the most sway in defining men's

clothing trends. 'It's really important to have GQ's Art Cooper at your

show,' says Dina Wise of Harrison & Shriftman, which represents men's

designer Hugo Boss.



Of the trade magazines, only one, Fairchild's Daily News Record (DNR),

is considered an industry must-read. 'Any menswear company that wants to

give an exclusive will call DNR to break the news,' adds Wise.



DNR editor-in-chief John Birmingham says there has been a lot of recent

excitement in men's fashion coverage. Even Time dedicated a cover story

to Tom Ford, Yves St. Laurent (YSL) creative director. 'Retail business

hasn't been great, but there's been a lot of coverage, particularly with

designer Hedi Slimane at Dior and what's happening over at YSL,' he

says.



'As a result, even Women's Wear Daily was covering men's fashion over in

Paris.'



There's still work to do



But Birmingham says many of these men's fashion trends don't reach the

mainstream for some time. 'There are a lot of different levels and while

it does trickle down, it takes quite a while,' he says. 'For the average

middle America newspaper, the focus is probably still what to wear on

casual Friday.'



Wise echoes that assessment, saying a lot of mainstream print and TV

coverage of menswear is service rather than fashion oriented. 'It tends

to be 'Here's a solution to your problem guys,' rather than here are the

latest trends,' she says. 'Men's fashion will never be at the level of

women's fashion with couture and experimenting because you can't really

have style icons in men's fashion.'



In fact, the main menswear story to have hit the headlines in recent

years is the move toward a less corporate look as a result of the

arrival of the khaki-wearing dotcom entrepreneur. Commenting on 'Casual

Friday,' Lippe Taylor's Daddi says: 'It forced men, for perhaps the

first time, to consider what they were wearing because they were faced

with significant changes, not only in having to purchase items but also

to put items together.'



Ernestine Sclafani, VP with Edelman Public Relations' New York office,

says now the men's fashion magazines are noting the pendulum swing in

the other direction. 'The whole power dressing concept is back,' says

Sclafani, who represents its retail brand, Eddie Bauer. 'Especially with

magazines such as GQ. You've got this whole generation of young men who

have never worn anything but khakis and Banana Republic who are now

wearing suits and crocodile loafers.'



Daddi says that as a rule workplace fashion trends tend to get more

coverage, simply because it is of interest to business writers as well

as fashion writers. 'The Wall Street Journal will cover issues such as

the return of the suit as part of changes that are going on in the

workplace overall,' he says.



But men's fashion in general tends to be far more grassroots driven than

press driven. 'Hip hop fashion is a perfect example of percolation

through music videos,' Daddi says. 'When you talk about fashion,

entertainment is a major force in reflecting and instituting change.

Media coverage reflects those cultural changes.'



PR executives are agreed that hip-hop fashion has influenced a whole

generation. Music magazines such as Vibe, The Source and XX Large have

both influenced and reflected the key young male demographic. 'It's been

one of the biggest growth areas in men's fashion for a number of years,'

notes Birmingham.



Another excellent market for men's fashion stories are gay-oriented

publications, especially lifestyle magazines like Out and Genre. 'Anyone

who is looking to promote or establish a menswear brand cannot overlook

the gay outlets,' Daddi says.



Television and radio can be very difficult markets for menswear stories,

but Wise notes that occasionally morning news reporters, such as the

Today show's fashion editor, Lloyd Boston, will do a seasonal piece.

There are also some opportunities to pitch men's fashion trends to CNNfn

and CNBC as part of their financial coverage of both retail and the

apparel industry.



WHERE TO GO



Newspapers: The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal



Magazines: GQ; Esquire; Men's Journal; New York Times' Magazine; FHM;

Details; Out; Genre; XX Large; Vibe; The Source; InStyle; New York

Magazine; Vogue



Trade publications: Daily News Record; Women's Wear Daily; W



TV & Radio: E! Entertainment Network; Style Network; morning news shows;

Metro Channel (New York)



Internet: Worth Global Style Network (WGSN.com); hintmag.com;

mensjournal.com; nytimes.com; maxim.com; gq.com.



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