by Karen Alberg Grossman

Just when we think things can’t get any worse, headlines remind us they can. A new Covid variant. Increasing cases and hospitalizations. More school shootings. Record inflation. Aggression and human rights violations around the world. A dysfunctional Congress here at home. Racism. Sexism. Intolerance of all sorts. Need I go on?

And in our fairy tale world of men’s fashion, in addition to Smash & Grab burglaries, supply chain issues, staff shortages and rising costs, retailers acknowledge that the unlikelihood of return-to-office mandates in the foreseeable future surely discourages guys from replenishing their business wardrobes. (According to an article in last week’s The New York Times, Wall Street is finally, albeit reluctantly, accepting the inevitability of remote workers. Of the 332,100 financial industry employees in NYC, 27 percent worked from their corporate office in the month of October, vs. 80 percent on a typical day pre-pandemic.)

But the good news is this: despite all the negative headlines, men’s apparel business is surprisingly healthy, with the majority of independent menswear merchants nicely ahead of 2019 and many noting that October 2021 was their best month ever! Yes, it’s a lot of work to check off all the boxes and do all that’s needed to keep the register ringing. But you, my friends, are making it happen: against all odds, your creativity, passion for great product and genuine caring for your customers are clearly working magic.

Looking toward 2022 and beyond, MR is hoping to support your journey with our newly conceived Digital First Strategy. Beginning in January, look for more in-depth surveys, roundtables, trend reports, trade show news, success stories, analysis, guest editorials from industry leaders and infinite ideas to grow your business.

As always, we look forward to working with you and truly appreciate your friendship, support and inspiration.

Karen Alberg Grossman, MR editor in chief


  1. I hear ya Karen.. but if history has taught us anything, is that in the most difficult times, humanity always rises above it all, and inspires creative greatness. Two moments in time come to mind that validates my comments above. Slavery in the south, and concentration camps in Germany, African Americans and Jewish People under the worst possible life and death conditions created some of the greatest music ever in human history. Creative people thrive under the worst possible conditions. I have hope… 🙏😎🥰

  2. KAG, you have a strong hammer in your tool belt. Hit the nail on the head, as you always do! Well aware that sometimes that hammer is velvet, and sometimes steel. Just like you.
    Thank you, as always, for your savvy, insight, and smarts with a heart!

    1. “Smarts with a heart,” That’s Karen. It couldn’t be said better. Thanks, Holly.

  3. Karen, no truer words. We are about to put to bed our best year in 33 years!! We are looking forward to a healthy and prosperous New Year and I look forward to seeing you in Chicago! Cheers!!

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