Your Favorite Designers Predict the Future of Menswear


Menswear’s resident philosopher Brunello Cucinelli sees us entering a period of exquisite refinement. Menswear in five years, he told me through a translator, “Will be utterly chic.” Cucinelli, whose cashmere-heavy collections have become more structured in the past few seasons, offers a historic parallel by way of explanation. “In the 1920s, three years after the first world war and two years after the Spanish Flu, King Edward VIII, then the Prince of Wales, basically stated that it was time to go back to dressing up. They would go and play soccer and tennis all dressed properly, they were always up for the occasion. My take is that we are definitely moving toward a very refined look.”

Conley Averett, the designer of knitwear brand Judy Turner, pushed this prediction even further, imagining 2028 will see a period of harsh minimalism. “I think it’ll be strict,” Averett told me. “We’ve gone through the era of tchotchkes. It’ll be a new wave of people wanting to simply look good.”

Not everyone agrees. Angelo Urrutia of 4SDesigns thinks we’ll enter a joyful period of elaborate style. “I think people are gonna get dressed up more,” said the designer, whose SS24 collection includes so many rich bouclé fabrics you’d think he raided the Chanel archive. “Now, people want to act a fool and enjoy life in a more impactful way, in the sense of doing things full-on, including with clothing. And I think it’ll definitely get more extreme, from streetwear all the way to the maison brands. I think they’ll start revving things up to offer something new and different. I feel the energy.”

It’s no wonder why some designers predict a future that reflects what they’re currently doing. After all, they know what’s working. Take Umit Benan, whose made-to-measure menswear line, Umit Benan B+, has become an if-you-know-you-know hit among rich guys who wear Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses and know their way around a kaftan. In recent seasons, Benan has been supplying these guys with increasingly light, airy, and comfortable tailoring (he’s had some jet-setting customers ask for suit jackets made out of shirting fabric) in enormous quantities. Satisfying the specific whims of an elite clientele, Benan told me, could open an opportunity for a new wave of custom designers. “In the future, I think all of these people will have their own personal tailor or designer,” he said in his Milan home-turned-showroom. “They want service, lightness, and quality. And they’re not going back.”

Eli Russell Linnetz of ERL concurs. Linnetz and I spoke in Florence, where he was putting the finishing touches on a few opulent handmade opera coats for his Pitti Uomo headliner. In five years, Linnetz told me, “I think it will be about making beautiful things, no matter how expensive they are. People will still be intrigued by that.”

Not everybody is convinced that things are moving in the right direction. In Paris, Kiko Kostadinov expressed a weariness with finding new seasonal themes for each collection. Going forward, he told me, he plans to self-reference his previous work. As for where the rest of the menswear world is heading, here’s what came up in Kostadinov’s magic 8-ball: “It will look passive, generic, and superficial.”

And some visionaries simply don’t concern themselves with what menswear will look like in five years. As Rick Owens told me amidst a light summer drizzle moments before his SS24 show: “Oh, fuck if I know. I have no idea, and I don’t c

Your Favorite Designers Predict the Future of Menswear

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