“We are seeing a real trend with athletes pushing style boundaries and that has changed the mindset of the common man in how they relate to fashion.”
- Alex Cox
Alex Cox is something of a champion for the cause of men’s fashion in Melbourne. As client development manager for Events Melbourne, it was in part under his jurisdiction that 2013’s inaugural Mr event (as part of Melbourne Spring Fashion Week) was born. The idea was simple: to give men the chance to cluster around the fashion stage, so often an arena presumed to be the domain of women.
Alex: “We appreciate that a lot of people within the industry have a passion for design and for fashion, but the average city worker also wants a way to get in to that space and learn a little more and that’s what Mr was all about. It gave us the chance to educate in a more general way.”
It’s an interest Alex sees as growing, in large part as a result of the trend of NBA and NBL athletes taking to the style scene with the same panache as they once dominated the hip hop space. Think Russell Westbrook with his geek chic approach or Kevin Durant with his penchant for preppie sweaters and slim silhouettes.
Alex: “Maybe the common guy has always had an interest in fashion but has not known how to take the next step and that’s where these athletes have given them a nudge. The pursuit of style no longer feels like a feminine thing.”
Men’s style blogs, too, he believes, have helped to give men’s fashion a much stronger street presence.
Alex: “These are real people – not models on the run way – and it gives guys a lot of different touch points. It’s a space where they can take away elements of other people’s fashion and apply it to themselves.”
The scope for entertaining the male population’s growing fascination with fashion and the accompanying demand for education is, he says, what will ensure that the Spring Fashion Week Mr event will continue to remain a highly anticipated event for the men of Melbourne.
Story: Sarina Lewis