The Insider’s Edit

July 11, 2020

Damien Paul is Head of Menswear at MATCHESFASHION. 

Paul started his career as Menswear Buyer at Harvey Nichols London in 2003, before joining Bloomingdale’s Dubai in  2007 as Menswear Buyer. 

Menswear Buyer for MATCHESFASHION in  2012, he contributed to introduce new designers brands and international brands such as Givenchy and Alexander Wang. Damien Paul is member of the Fashion Forward jury organised by the British Fashion Council for promoting British designers. 

Which is the main trend you forecast for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2021 season? 

Firstly I would say that designers have looked to their core brand DNA as a starting point. We’ve seen them really elevate the elements we would expect from them. There’s been attention to detail with fabrication, and I’m also noticing a shift in the silhouette which is becoming more relaxed. And there is a real sense of optimism, real bursts of colour in unexpected places. I am also looking at the elements of sustainability within collections whether that is through artisanal craftmanship, fabrications or even how the designer works within the local community. There’s lots to look forward to. 

Are you changing the way to select brands and to edit the collections?

Our dialogue with brands has never been stronger. Some brands have sent out fabric books, others have sent through a variety of content around their collections – they have all tried incredibly hard to bring the season to life which has been amazing. They are building narrative via digital platforms which has been incredibly helpful. Saying that I miss the showrooms and seeing all the teams and old friends. I am looking forward to doing this in real life again.

Have you observed any change in customer behaviours? 

As various countries went into lockdown we did see an inevitable shift in buying habits – men were buying into cashmere, looser relaxed trousers and fairly classic tees but there was also a shift to investment pieces. I think a lot of guys wanted something that they knew they would wear beyond a season. As our new season delivers we’ve seen really positive reaction to new product – our customers are very optimist and they have shown a real appetite for newness. It’s been a good start to the season.

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