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10/14/2011

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I'm sure there are also women who'd like to wear men's styles – so a good range of sizes in both women's and men's clogs would be useful.

Exotic leathers, what a great idea Evan!

I want a pair of Paul Bond clogs. http://www.paulbondboots.com/

I love the words from this post I don't think that I could have said them better my self. I am thinking what this new clog will look like. I picture a thick high heel clog boot sandal made from purple ostrich leather with buckles and zippers.

Not to be contrarian...well, not TOO contrarian...but I don't really think it's enough to say "The consensus for all three of these ideas seems to be that there are women's styles that men like and would enjoy wearing if they were made available in men's sizes."


From a marketing standpoint, I just don't see this as being sufficient to broaden the male customer base for clogs. Take skirts, for example. A company could take their skirt designs and make them in larger sizes for guys to wear. They might even sell, mostly to a particular subset of male demographics. But they won't really challenge the culture. Alternative, a company could follow the lead of Utilikilts and design a garment specifically for men and marketed through images of manly men wearing the products and working in them.

As another case study, consider S. Korean brand deepstyle (http://www.yesstyle.com/en/deepstyle/list.html/bpt.299_bid.311493). The brand's design sensibility is clearly inspired by women's fashions, but the design intent, consideration, and presentation are specifically geared towards men's urban street chic. Deepstyle addresses particularly needs and attitudes, and also shapes them, without being the afterthought of a women's brand.

My point is that while I fully agree that anyone should be able to wear anything they like, and offering larger sizes of women's products is absolute a sensible thing to do, designers have to be willing to start with the blank page and come up with new designs that specifically address how men style themselves in today's culture. Simply adapting women's styles and making them accessible to men makes the marketing harder because the style only comes across as derivative, which is ultimately condescending.

Of course, there's nothing to say that designs have to be gendered but, again, I think that if unisex is to be a fundamental criteria/guideline, it has to be at the beginning of a product's design and not after the fact.

Anyway, I apologize for the soapbox rant. I just don't think we should expect marketing to accomplish what design can do better.


Frederik:  Well reasoned (as always)! I like to think that men's styles that are both interesting and satisfying for men to wear can evolve on their own. I have to plead that in the interest of simplifying and distilling all that had been expressed, I wanted to point out that there was interest among men in wearing styles that already exist. A company wouldn't necessarily need to reinvent the wheel to create clogs that would appeal to men. They could just enlarge their current product lines and find quite a few happy customers. 

I keep thinking that since many of what is old is now new (spiderman, green hornet). May be we just need to bring back clogs on a retro scale and give it a twist on the guy side of style. I am also in favor of offering the larger sizes at a discount. This way I could save some money.

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