That oft-ignored market for men's luxury has been popping up on my radar screen a lot more often in the last few months. Up until now, men's luxury spending has been dominated by expensive watches. But, as a generation of high net-worth men with a taste for modern design is growing up, more players are reaching out to meet their sophisticated needs in innovative ways.
It brings to mind a casual gathering of friends that took place in my kitchen on a recent Saturday evening. Over wine and cheese, I watched in awe as hedge fund managers, private equity investors and investment bankers from London's burgeoning financial community were comparing, discussing and examining each other's (expensive) watches in excruciating detail. Some were taking pride in the beautiful pearl dialfaces, others in the high-tech mechanics, and still others in having a Swiss watch brand that nobody else had heard of. Digits were exchanged. Prices were quoted. Statistics were cited. Still, it wasn't so different from the groups of professional women I have seen cooing over their friend's new Chloe bag. Could the same passion for those watches and handbags be transferred to cufflinks, tailor-made suits and high-tech men's cosmetics?