East Dane

eastdaneA new apparel site is “chasing a highly promising yet relatively neglected prey: the style-seeking, online-shopping male,” reports Christina Binkley in The Wall Street Journal (7/25/13).  East Dane, set to launch in September, arrives via ShopBop, “a  women’s-clothing site owned by Amazon.” However, East Dane will “look and function very differently from ShopBop.”  It will feature bigger photos, models shot from the neck down “and include in every order a strip of packing tape to ease a potential return.”

Such touches are based on research findings that men “find models’ faces distracting” and want a streamlined shopping experience. Men are even more averse than women to returning items, which explains the packing tape. They also need more style guidance because “for a man to walk into a retail environment and walk out with nothing – that would be viewed as a failure,” notes David Bell, a Wharton marketing professor. They also “are more likely to rely on the advice of an expert, rather than a friend, and tend to buy brands they’ve bought in the past.”

Despite these differences, men reportedly have “adapted to the fast-changing fashion trends that have been the norm in womenswear, accepting slim-cut styles and ankle-revealing pant lengths.” “Men are become more like women in the fashion context,” says Michael Solomon of St. Joseph’s University. “As you get younger and younger, the differences almost disappear.” Bonobos is among the retailers tapping into that trend, and it’s worth noting it is now building bricks stores where “men can meet with a stylist, try on clothes, and then place orders online.”

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