Break the chain

by Elise Diamantini

When we first talked about launching downtown, this new contemporary section within MR Magazine, the discussion certainly got heated when trying to define the word contemporary. The term is broad and depending on who you ask, can mean totally different things. Some contemporary retailers don’t even like to use the word, so do we have to? Can we all agree that it’s more about an industry of forward-thinking people, collaborating to get men interested in how they look and dare we say, fashion? It’s about updating styles and silhouettes in a modern way that appeals to guys of any age. Men care about how they’re dressed for the first time in a long time. They’re interested in learning about how things are made, the history behind their favorite brands and how to wear clothes differently. They’re reading style blogs; they’re creating their own style blogs! As an industry, we need to embrace this and work together to make the most of it.

While we’ve always covered the contemporary market in MR, we’re excited to launch its own dedicated section. We’re kicking it off with an analysis of the contemporary market in our specialty store survey. Retailers told us that they’re optimistic about the coming year (and even planning it slightly up). While it’s still considered a core category, most are planning denim slightly down and putting more emphasis on non-denim bottoms like chinos and cords. We explore the future of the denim, check out the L.A. retail scene, profile three up-and-coming designers in our recurring Ones to Watch feature and introduce Adam Thomas Eisenhut, our resident downtown style blogger. And to inspire your buy for the Las Vegas market, we have an in-depth fall 2012 trend report.

If you’d like us to investigate any issues, have feature ideas or want to tell us about cool, new initiatives, e-mail me at After all, downtown will evolve with the market itself; we are only as strong as the creative merchants and manufacturers who inspire us. I’m looking forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!