English Laundry hosted a panel discussion featuring influencers discussing the topic of the up-and-coming way of dressing “bleisure” (short for “business-meets-leisure”) – a newly-coined term for how a person dresses when traveling for business while remaining comfortable and professional at the same time. These consumers look for multi-functional pieces that can take them from the board room to the plane without being uncomfortable the entire day, and items that could be styled in various different ways.
“I can see in the airports the guys that have been wearing the same slacks for 20 years are now wearing joggers and more casual pants. But there is definitely a move into more multi-purpose clothing,” Larry Taube, president of TKO Evolution, English Laundry’s sportswear licensee, told MR at the event. “For me, it started with the active business because they started sneaking into sportswear. There is so much cross over now between what was traditionally considered activewear and what was considered sportswear. If brands are not at least attempting to think in the new way of dressing, they’re going to run into trouble. There are reasons now for guys to buy things again and guys are more put together than they used to be.”
And embracing this new way of dressing, English Laundry does. Before the panel got started, the brand highlighted the full range of products where attendees could get a closer look and discover more what English Laundry has to offer. “English Laundry has grown as a full lifestyle brand,” says Taube. “People know the brand, but now that sportswear is doing such a great job, all of our other categories behind it like dress shirts, accessories, shoes, home, and cologne – they are able to follow their lead and keep building the business as well.”
The collection, which started out as an elaborate shirt line, has grown into a full lifestyle selection of suits, tailored separates, neckwear, footwear, headwear, outerwear, sweaters, dress and sport shirts, denim, hosiery, cufflinks, watches, fragrances, eyewear, underwear, and accessories.
And the growth of this brand has been a natural process due to consumer demand for something different in the marketplace. “I do believe that the active consumer that’s out there shopping is really looking for brands to call their own,” mentions Taube. “And us, as a brand, has to earn that trust and business from the consumer. I don’t think today’s shoppers are going out there and buying clothes from a label just because it’s a heritage brand, there was a time for that. But, today, people want something new and exciting for a great value, and we give them that.”