INSIGHT | China Men's Fashion and Consumption

October 25,2019

With the transformation of fashion communication and shopping media, Chinese men's fashion footprint is now more visible than ever before.

According to public data, in the first half of 2019, the proportion of the first store of brands launched in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu focused on men as the main target customers increased greatly. Besides traditional formal male’s apparel, there are now more and more leisure and sports brands that are designed for male consumers.

An Explosion in Male Fashion Consumption

In the interview and survey of some post-90s male consumers conducted by Luxe.CO, they said:

"I would love to spend money on fashion, and I spend most of my money on fashion. Mostly to buy shoes, many boys like to spend money on shoes. I don't buy a lot of bags, but I buy a lot of caps. I wear a cap every day.” - 1992

"Mostly clothes and shoes, but also Japanese silver jewelry, headphones and handmade glasses. Sometimes I buy toys or something like GUNPLA (Gundam Plastic Models) on impulse. Half of my cost of living is invested in fashion." - 1997

According to the report  "Insight Into The New Generation Of Male Fashion Consumption In China" released by Luxe.CO earlier this year, 32.8% of the new generation of male consumers said they care a lot about what others think of their apparel. In terms of the consumption of fashion items, 3.5% of male consumers bought fashion items above 50,000 RMB in the past year, with 30,000-50,000 RMB accounting for 4.1%, 10,000-30,000 RMB accounting for 11.3%, and 50,000-10,000rmb accounting for 16%. The average level of spending is higher than that of female consumers.

Male consumers who are born in the 1980s, 1990s and even the 2000s attach great importance to their appearance and fashion taste.

In the first half of 2019, we also saw more overseas high-end/niche menswear brands, as well as more elevated local menswear labels, open in China.

High-end/Niche Menswear Brands

As the global fashion industry expands its menswear business, more and more overseas men's fashion brands are entering China, with some now even opening their first stores in China.

In the men's fashion section, traditional sports brands have already developed into quite mature businesses in the China market. Newly entered brands can be roughly divided into four categories: Luxury brands, Street brands, Niche labels and Accessories brands.


Luxury Brands

French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has opened independent pop-up stores in Columbia Circle in Shanghai and SKP in Beijing to promote a new collection by Virgil Abloh, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection. Celine, which traditionally specializes in womenswear, opened China's first menswear boutique in Plaza 66 in Shanghai.


Street Brands

STARTER BLACK LABEL, a standalone line of the American popular street brand STARTER, launched its first China’s store in Joy City Mall in Beijing. UNDEFEATED launched its first store in Taikoo Li Sanlitun in Beijing. Recently, the American high-end sneaker + streetwear marketplace Solestage also opened its first China store in Taikoo Li Sanlitun in Beijing. 


Niche Labels

Manuel Ritz, a French haute couture menswear brand, has opened its first store in K11 Shanghai. New York-based men's and women's contemporary fashion label Theory opened its first independent menswear store in Galeries Lafayette in Shanghai. The Swedish fashion brand COS opened its first global menswear store in Taikoo Li Sanlitun in Beijing. SUITSUPPLY, the Duth menswear brand, opened its first store in the southwest area of China in Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, while many China’s multi-brand retailers such as Magmode began to include more niche designer labels from overseas.


Accessories Brands

In the shopping malls, we now see more and more accessories brands for male customers, such as silver jewelry brand Rock&Ride, Chrome Hearts, KING BABY, and the headwear brand New Era, and the American sock, underwear and T-Shirt brand Stance.

Last year, Oliver Lai, GM of Parkview Green in Beijing, told Luxe.CO that more male consumer brands and technology brands would be added, "Hoping to increase the proportion of male consumers to another 10%."

At present,  Parkview Green in Beijing has opened a number of new male consumer brands, including multi-brand retailer CORAZZA, Andrew Mackenzie, C’N’C CoSTUME NATIONAL, ARC’TERYX and Brompton.

The "Invisible" Shopping Motivation for Men

What motivates men to shop? Interviews with several male consumers might give an explanation:

"I've just went to the Joy City Mall in Xi 'an, and it's got all the brands, Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei and multi-brand electric appliance store, Nike, Adidas and other sports brands, and the Marvel exhibit downstairs." - 1993 

There is a new LEGO store opened in Wangfujing, I usually like to go to this kind of toy stores.” - 1997

I like to go to Wukesong Arena to check out some sports brands, mainly because I can also play basketball there.” - 1997

In contrast to female consumers, digital 3C, automobile, entertainment experience and sports brands are the main reasons why many male consumers stay in the mall. In the past few years, experiential consumption has become the standard way to attract customers at shopping centers. Compared with traditional F&B, karaoke, movies, shopping malls may be wondering how to satisfy the non-fashion needs of male consumers.

From the report "Insight Into The New Generation Of Male Fashion Consumption In China" released by Luxe.Co, male consumers put forward higher expectations and requirements for store experience: customization (48%), styling service (36.9%) and intelligent technology experience (34.6%) are all services they hope to experience in offline stores.

Nowadays, many enterprises brought in are of interest to male consumers, and each of these types gives man one more reason to “go shopping”. 


Leisure and Entertainment

In August last year, THE GUNDAM BASE SHANGHAI, the first flagship shop based on GUNPLA(GUNDAM Plastic Model opened in the Super Brand Mall in Shanghai. 

In February 2019, the largest LEGO flagship store in China opened at Wangfujing IN88 Mall in Beijing. 

In March 2019, Ringside Boxing & Beyond, a high-end sports and social club, opened two stores simultaneously in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

In the China World Mall  in Beijing, we also saw CIGAR AFICIONADO, which mainly sells cigars and cigar accessories…



In March 2019, MIRAGE, the exclusive Asian sports collection store, entered Beijing Fun.

In April 2019, China's first NBA flagship store opened in Wangfujing IN88 Mall in Beijing. 

In June 2019, the first Manchester United F.C. experience center in China started a trial operation in Beijing Fun.



In March 2019, Xiaopeng Motors opened its first experience center in Shanghai.

In April 2019, Parkview Green Beijing added the world's first SALEEN supercar experience center to the existing Tesla experience center.

In May 2019, Lixiang Automotive launched retail centers in five cities, including Wukesong Arena in Beijing, Shanghai Century Link Mall. 

In May 2019, Mercedes opened its first crossover experience store Mercedes Me in South-east part of China in Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu. 


Today, men's fashion needs are more and more explicit, but most brands have not formed effective digital communication and interaction with male consumers. In contrast, bricks-and-mortar channels provide brands with the opportunity to directly interact with male consumers are invaluable.

However, to break the stereotype of "male consumer group”, and truly understand their fashion consumer psychology, a business needs to carry out continuous conversations across all forms of user engagement. Nowadays, every business and mens fashion brand’s is now focused on "Breaking the circle", to learn from technology, cars, entertainment brands.


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