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Turning online fashion into a man’s world

It’s been one year since we launched menswear at My-Wardrobe for spring 09, after identifying a gap in the online market for accessible luxury designer fashion for the male consumer.

There was no one else providing the breadth of brands at this level and we felt it would also make our offer more complete by appealing to men buying for themselves and their
partners, as well as women buying for men.

When we started the planning process, we couldn’t have predicted that we would be launching in a recession and there is no denying it was a tough year, but it focused us. We had to learn a lot of internet-specific lessons about how to market menswear and we are now in an excellent position to take the business forward as the green shoots of recovery appear.

The first two weeks of 2010 have shown more than 100% growth year on year, which justifies our endeavours. My-Wardrobe appeals to a wide consumer base and we have 75 of the best brands, with Burberry Brit joining us this year and lesser-known names such as Universal Works, which is selling extremely well due to its design content and accessibility.
We work closely with brands to create exclusives to offer added value and a point of difference. D&G joins our brand portfolio for autumn 10 and the focus for us will be to add depth to the overall offer via existing brands and by bringing on new brands.

The male consumer is not as used to shopping online for fashion as women, but the potential is there. If you present the right brands with integrity from a male perspective and champion the fact that online is about speed, convenience and excellent customer service, the potential growth for this market is extremely exciting.

Luisa de Paula is buying and merchandising director at premium etailer My-Wardrobe

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