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Whither the 'Metrosexual'?

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07 January 2014
Whither the 'Metrosexual'?

He was definitely male, yet took an inordinate amount of time fussing over his semi-casual clothes. He was an urbanite, yet he might also be super-sporty. He was David Beckham incarnate: hard on the soccer pitch, yet the contents of his closet were marshmallow soft.

Now, 20 years on, whatever happened to the “metrosexual”?

It is two decades since an article by Mark Simpson, published in 1994 in the British newspaper The Independent, first named this male type.

“Metrosexual man, the single young man with a high disposable income, living or working in the city (because that’s where all the best shops are), is perhaps the most promising consumer market of the decade,” he wrote. “In the Eighties he was only to be found inside fashion magazines such as GQ, in television advertisements for Levi’s jeans or in gay bars. In the Nineties, he’s everywhere and he’s going shopping.”

The male consumer may still be going strong worldwide — reportedly accounting for a big chunk of recent luxury purchases. But as the new men’s wear fashion season opened in London this week no one is expecting that faintly girly look with a wisp (or a whisper) of bisexuality is going to dominate the runways.

In fact, the opposite is true: A sporty, tough-guy style, with a square-cut sweater to emphasize a burly body, biceps and square shoulders, is much more in tune with today. Farewell, Brad Pitt! Hello, Kanye West!