While it's multinationals like Zara, H&M and TopMan drawing most of the attention, the niche market players balance out the luxury, bespoke, boutique and value in the men's market.
Australian menswear attracts $5 billion worth of revenue each year. This has predominantly been fuelled by men who are confident to shop for themselves along with their agility to purchase online. After witnessing this renaissance over the past five years, it's a pleasure to be working as a woman in the industry.
Two cult French fashion brands are making a splash on the Australian fashion scene. Last month The Kooples launched its first Australian store in Melbourne's new St Collins Lane precinct. Brothers Alexandre, Laurent and Raphael Elicha founded its apparel offering of modern silhouettes with fitted cuts and tailoring in 2008. The Kooples also has ventured into active wear with the launch of The Kooples SPORT in recent years.
A.P.C is an established favourite with its French chic appeal and minimal 'no fuss' combinations. The Atelier de Production et de Création (which means the Production and Creation workshop) and its creator Monsieur Touitou has been known to gift clothing to teachers more than celebrities because he despises stereotypes.
Kit and Ace is another newcomer to Australia, landing last year and already in rapid expansion. The point of difference for this technical cashmere company is that it invests in its local fashion design schools to find the next designer in residence.
Co-founder and president Shannon Wilson believes the concept provides positive opportunities for students hoping to break into the market. Morgan and Villafuerte are the current students in residence offer services such as customisation, monogramming and complimentary tailoring as well as developing new designs based on current Kit and Ace styles.
Sydney's MAYDAY Market is a store you might walk past, then back up and pause for a closer look. Clothes racks draped in black on a white background are as dramatic as the avant-garde menswear it stocks. The tailored cuts and different use of fabrics offer an extraordinary contrast of flow and static silhouettes. It's not a store for the light-hearted, as each piece makes a statement of true purpose and definition.
Over in Perth, you'll find Khirzad gentleman's boutique celebrating the finest of Italian elegance. The store itself is a must see, with handpicked collections of international designers catering for the well-dressed Australia. Director Nilofar Khirzad could change your life with her wonderful styling.
Keep it Simple
Mr Simple has opened a store at the new Pacific Fair redevelopment on the Gold Coast. Who is Mr Simple? He's your best friend on the weekend, on a surf escape or when you're camping out on the hills. This utilitarian weekend warrior covers the, yes, simple essentials required for when you want to take in some man-time. You'll find knits, chinos, woollen socks, parkers and warm overcoats at your disposal.
And now to our shining stars, Strateas.Carlucci who are the first Australian menswear brand to be invited to show during Men's Fashion Week at Paris. Strateas.Carlucci collection named M Y O P I A will be followed by Valentino, Haider Ackermann and Raf Simons – what an incredible line up.
The Melbourne-based brand founded by Mario-Luca Carlucci and Peter Strateas has picked up multiple awards last year including the Tiffany & Co National Designer Award and the International Woolmark Prize Australia Regional Finals.
What's your favourite menswear store in Australia? Let us know in the Comments section.
Experience within retail trend analysis companies has earned Louise Edmonds cred in the luxury menswear sector. The founder of utilises her passion and understanding of fashion to deliver a fresh, edgy take on men's style.