Dubai: By now, everyone agrees that a man can be as keen a shopper as any woman can be. They are just as likely to spend lavishly on grooming and being fitted out to make the best impression possible. Terms such as the “metrosexual’ and the “post-metrosexual” man do get thrown about a lot.
Bespoke tailoring in men’s wear has become a fad all over again; even Dubai’s prominent malls now have a purveyor or two offering such personalised services. There has been a similar proliferation in upscale men’s salons and the like.
According to Euromonitor International, men’s grooming products fetched local sales of Dh200 million in 2012 from a 7 per cent year-on-year growth.
‘Professionals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are increasingly frequenting high-end salons for haircuts, shaves and massages,’ according to Euromonitor. ‘Male-centred chains such as Urban Male Lounge, 1847 and Man/Age are located in upscale, high-traffic locations and doing brisk business.
“Unit prices in most categories grew below the level of inflation in 2012 — this was mainly due to retailers and manufacturers increasing their use of price promotions. Consumer confidence and growing interest in men’s grooming further encouraged a focus on price competition as players and retailers pushed to gain share and expand the consumer base for specialist men’s products.”
But what of the man who still couldn’t be bothered with shopping? A recently launched venture, Mr. Draper, expects to provide an answer if it is formal wear the reluctant male shopper wants.
“We work with brands we house to eliminate the hassle from shopping in the malls or online for clothes,” said Mahmoud Gao, one of the founders of the bespoke service. “After creating a profile on-line, our customers are assigned a stylist who hand-picks clothes and delivers them to their house to try for five days.
“They can keep what they like and send back what they don’t. We don’t charge for the service or delivery. Customers only pay for the clothes they keep... but only after the service is completed. Additionally, our inventory includes everything from casual wear to tuxes. The clothes selected by our stylist are from our own inventory; we house around 15 brands catering to all styles and budgets.
“There are a lot of interesting concepts popping up around Dubai primarily targeted at making suiting for men convenient. Companies like Knot Standard and M7 Bespoke are doing some innovative things to make men’s lives easier in that regard.”
If a potential client is so inclined, he could drop in at Mr. Draper’s offices and get the fit-outs done there. “Customers can work with the stylist one-on-one and try on the clothes,” said Gao. “They can purchase what they like on the spot. This service is also complimentary.”