The go-to platform for the fashion-savvy man, Mr Porter is constantly adding to its roster of 400-plus brands with exclusive designer collaborations with the likes of Gucci, Balenciaga and Tom Ford. In a bid to provide men the chance to keep their wardrobes updated with exactly what they need, the e-tailor also launched Mr P last November, a clothing label created by Mr Porter’s in-house designers, which will provide a year-round supply of in-demand basics such as the classic white shirt, practical chinos and crewnecks in the colours of the season.
The latest label to partner up with the seven-year-old portal is Italian luxury house Prada, which will launch a capsule collection inspired by bowling. Although the brand has been available online for some time now, this is the first time a Prada collection will be stocked exclusively through a single online retail partner.
The 32-piece capsule draws on the bowling culture of the 1950s through to the 1980s, an era when the game was a popular pastime in many parts of the world. Fashion-wise, it was the time of Hawaiian shirts, checks and stripes, two-toned fabrics and cap-toe footwear. Accordingly, the offerings include mid-century-style block-paneled stripe cardigans and stripe-knit T-shirts; blouson jackets in satin and suede; dual-printed T-shirts; and camp-collar shirts with Hawaiian motifs, pop-cartoon prints, and madras and gingham checks. These can be worn as separates or paired with pleated or flat-front trousers, and a bi-colour mohair wool blazer. Loafers, creeper and cap-toe Derbies, and cap-toe sneakers in nubuck and deer skin complete the ready-to-wear range.
The apparel sports one-off Prada bowling logos, in a bid to inject a spot of fun into classic menswear. “The retro themes were an effortless inspiration for the campaign and content, and allowed us to easily meld the worlds of Mr Porter and Prada,” said Toby Bateman, managing director of Mr Porter. The pieces are priced from US$370 to $3,490 (Dh1,360 to Dh12,800), with free shipping to the UAE for orders over $250, once the collection drops on April 25. To celebrate the partnership, Mr Porter and Prada will host a bowling event in New York on April 26.
Adam Welch, editorial director of Mr Porter, told The National: "Men tend to be much less varied in their tastes when it comes to clothing, but what we see is that if we present men with options, they want to experiment and try different things. The emancipation of menswear is something that has been happening since the mid-2000s, and there has been a lot more conversation."
Online shopping is a big catalyst to that conversation, with more and more brands going the e-commerce way to draw in male shoppers. The menswear market is expected to touch US33 billion by 2020, with e-tailors reporting a faster growth than both womenswear and the luxury market, although this could be down to the fact that convenience-seeking men are just shopping a lot more now than they used to. “Prada's DNA is about creating products that are breakthrough [and] that may at times surprise customers, while bringing ideas and ideals to life. We strongly believe that the Mr Porter partnership is relevant to our digital transformation in today’s changing scenario,” confirms Stefano Cantino, group strategic marketing director at Prada.