Insights from our Head of Men's Fashion at H&M - Andreas Löwenstam
Can you explain your role as head of design for menswear at H&M?
My role is mainly to analyse upcoming and current menswear fashion and what we believe our customers would like to buy and to wear. My responsibility is to perceive the fashion to our different designers and the different menswear teams. My ambition is always that our visions should be clearly presented in our stores and visible on the streets. My job is to encourage our teams to design and to deliver the best men’s fashion to our stores.
When analysing are you looking at the market or men’s fashion trends?
I look into our own stores and I do look at competitors and other concepts to make sure that we are right on track with current and coming men’s clothing collections. I also look at what the guys on the street are wearing. I follow the catwalks to look for new tendencies and directions. It is often new concepts that I find most inspiring. It could be a specific store, a movie or an album. The combination of great creativity and profitability are often the most inspiring for me.
You get inspiration from the street. Do you look at what clothes men are wearing?
It’s interesting because for me that is the result of being successful, when you see someone on the street wearing something from our collections. How does the guy on the street wear our collections compared to how we present it? I really get inspired from people wearing strong and individual looks. That is often a mix of high end design with high street and vintage. One of my biggest interests is really to study people and to get an understanding of them. I am an analyser and I am constantly thinking of our potential customers and their ideas on how to wear men’s clothes and what affects them to wear them in a specific way.
Are you predicting the men’s fashion trend for next year?
We are a fashion company so we design current fashion that we present as different fashion stories. Working with fashion you need to predict what is next as well as paying respect to what is happening now. You don’t challenge yourself or your customers if you just put all existing trends on the table and are happy doing what you believe everyone else in the industry would do. My job is to put analysed trends into an H&M context and constantly provide our customers with current fashion.
How would you describe H&M menswear to a new customer?
We are a fashion company offering our customers current men’s clothes in good quality and at a great price. Our strength is that we do have several different concepts enabling us to offer fashion for everyone, from basic fashion to latest fashion. If you are insecure about your style you should always be able to find something at H&M.
What are the upcoming men’s clothing trends that you see applicable for H&M?
I'd say the following tendencies and directions are most crucial. Modern Icons – Classic but updated menswear pieces that often provide a foundation for the male wardrobe. A classic men’s winter coat or bomber jacket, a white shirt, the black or navy mens suit, a crew neck camel sweater or a just a pair of denims in a new wash and silhouette. The Uniform Trend – A trend we see increasing. Uniform inspired colors, details, materials and silhouettes is really in fashion. Athleisure – Sportswear will continue to inspire the modern man and mixing formalwear with sportswear to create a comfortable yet stylish look.
What is the difference in the interest levels from men in fashion compared to when you started?
I can see a quite drastic change. I believe that competition has changed both the market and the male customer. It is so much easier to get access to great fashion, both in stores and online. I see that men are much more experimental with fashion today and are using men’s clothing as a way to express themselves.