With the growth of menswear expected to outpace womenswear in the next three years, Mr Porter is looking to capitalize by launching a contemporary line of its own.
The in-house label — which is called Mr P. and officially launches on November 7 — will include a year-round collection of essentials and staple items, as well as trend-driven seasonal capsule collections inspired by iconic men. (The first will be an ode to 20th century British painter Lucian Freud during the height of his 1950s style.) Though Mr Porter has previously forayed into designing its own clothing with lines created in collaboration with “The Kingsman” movie series in both 2014 and 2017, Mr P. will be the first true standalone brand permanently offered by the menswear e-commerce site owned by Yoox Net-A-Porter.
The 60-item collection includes 24 basic styles and 29 rotating pieces, and will be paired with editorial content like instructional style articles and videos that will be housed on Mr Porter’s weekly digital magazine, The Journal. According to Olie Arnold, style director at Mr Porter, the goal of Mr P. is to diversify Mr Porter’s product assortment and serve as a catalyst to lure new contemporary brand partners.
Mr Porter currently sells more than 400 brands to 170 countries, and most are luxury brands that lean on the side of formalwear. Arnold said Mr P. has the potential to appeal to younger men to further widen Mr Porter’s consumer demographic, given Mr Porter’s average consumer is in their mid-thirties. Mr P. is also a response to larger market trends that show an increase of interest among men of all ages in fashion, largely propelled by social media. According to a report by retail analytics firm Edited, menswear is forecasted to be valued by $33 billion by 2020, an increase of 14 percent from 2015.
“Mr Porter can sometimes be out of [a man’s] league, from a price point of view,” Arnold said. “For those who don’t know about our casual and contemporary markets, we’re hoping this will help bring more traffic in.”
The designs for Mr P. were heavily informed by seven years worth of consumer data and shopping habits. These reports found men are buying more casual looks at lower price points than ever before, ultimately spotlighting an opportunity to profit on contemporary offerings, Arnold said. Prices for the collection range from $160 for a classic Oxford shirt, to $865 for a double-breasted overcoat.
“We have this incredible access to data. That’s been a starting point for how we arrange planning,” Arnold said. “[Creating Mr P.] has been something we’ve talked about for several years; it was always the case of when, not if. We’ve learned a lot from ‘The Kingsman’ label and from working with brands, and seeing that internal production system. It felt like the time was right.”
Continuing to hold strategic discussions with brands and collaborating closely to share insights will be important to Mr Porter as it continues to evolve the Mr P. brand, Arnold said. In preparation for the launch, the team held transparent discussions with existing contemporary vendors to ensure the launch of Mr P. will not threaten their position on the site.
“We want to make sure we’re bolstering the market and not taking away from others,” Arnold said. “We’ve been really upfront with them. Our intention is to make that market bigger — we would only have a positive impact by bringing more people into the market.”
Image courtesy of Mr Porter