Menswear agents, buyers and brands are feeling cautiously optimistic for the year ahead following the successful kick-off to the autumn 17 buying season.
Amid uncertainty around currency, Brexit and new presidential polices in the US, menswear trade shows Pitti Uomo in Florence, Seek in Berlin and Jacket Required in London were well attended this season, providing a needed boost of positivity to the industry.
Menswear insiders have reported a steady start to the season.
Ravi Grewal, co-owner of menswear independent Stuarts London, said: “January was OK and we had a really good year in 2016 so we’re in a good place. It will be interesting to see how the next three months go but I’m optimistic.”
Juls Dawson, co-founder of agency Just Consultancies, said the market was “quite buoyant” so far in 2017.
“A lot of retailers had a good December so are feeling alright about this season. We had a fantastic show at Jacket Required, it was a strong start.”
However, others were more cautious about the year ahead. Harry McCreery, Irish agent for footwear brands Palladium Boots, Fila, Superga and Converse, said it had been “an OK start” to the season. “There’s no fireworks, but it’s alright,” he added.
Kevin Stone, owner of Stone Agencies, said retailers are erring on the side of caution: “We’ve had price rises this season. We had to put up key items that haven’t gone up in four years but customers were expecting it so it wasn’t a big shock for them. That said, retailers are buying cautiously as they don’t know what’s going to happen.
“It’s going to be a tough season ahead. It will be a case of getting through it and getting out on the other side.”