Understanding the Markets

Inspiration comes in all forms. Mine was a walk through Brooklyn, New York. I started in Williamsburg near the L train of Bedford and 7th. I wound my way around and around the blocks to clarify that I was on target. The quaint shops, bars, and coffee houses all said Mom and Pop but with a larger community support. Everything is rough, worn, and real. Breakdown the exteriors, expose the walls and floors to compliment the designs of today’s clothing. Use the old with the new. Sport coats hanging on exposed beams of iron, leather jackets draped across blankets on chairs, shirts placed inside half open oak casks. Thick, dry bottom fabrics mixed with soft supple tees and jackets. Classic suits mixed with leather sneakers. I am not suggesting that this is Ken’s new look. I am giving the impressions of what was given to me so I can translate them into cohesive workings for our store, and for you.

The same holds true at the Markets, showrooms, and fashion shows. We have to visualize a broader picture here of what is happening. Not only to the clothing but especially the smallest detail of designs. The mood, the ambiance, and the flow of the environment in which it is shown. The appearance, or the disappearance of previous shows and looks. The overall theme, its color story, the stylizations (whether they are blown out of proportion or not). These assist us in understanding how to interpret to our own floors. The biggest of the details are designs that we see will not see on the floor for 12 to 18 months. Remember when they started to show plain front pants? It took a while to make an impact on the main floor. All the years later we still see men coming in saying that want to convert but wish to do so with a couple to start. So, what do I tell you when I did see a couple of small, thin two pleated models at the show? I say, just wait, let us work with the formula to make sure you stay one step ahead.

These markets are three fold. They confirm that are direction for the current season is “on-point”. That the following season has flow and creativity, yet not far departures from the current, and the future is always evolving so the man’s closet remain fresh, alive, and exciting but still classic enough not to be afraid. Am I suggesting that every man begin to wear all the trends we see or bring in? Absolutely not, just think about the idea and let it percolate a little because it may become mainstream in the near future.

Kory Helfman, Dallas Haberdasher

Ken’s Man’s Shop