We've been asked a number of times why we don't yet have a mens range. We had considered it when we were in the early stages of planning Shoes of Prey, but the main reasons we didn't start off with it were:
- the manufacture of men's shoes is, to our research, at a significantly different (and higher) price point from women's shoes which leads to market targeting issues.
- generally, women are more interested in fashion, so are more likely to want to be able to design their own shoes than men.
- women shop more frequently for shoes than men do, i.e. "men buy, women shop"
Overall, women seemed like a much better market for this idea.
Recently, I read an article published by Lightspeed Venture Partners, on their decision to invest in Bonobos, that contained a great insight into the way men and women shop. So firstly, what's Bonobos? it is a mens apparel e-tailer, focused on selling better-fitting trousers to men who have bigger legs - the fashionable medium between super-skinny jeans and baggy, pleated trousers. Since launch in 2007 the range has expanded to cover products including jackets, polos and more. Part of the success of Bonobos has been understanding how their target market shops. What the guys at Bonobos uncovered about the way men and women shop, is this:
Looking at this model against Shoes of Prey - we offer a design service, that requires time and engagement to get to the end product. We do offer fitting services, but the attraction is primarily about becoming the designer - creating whatever your heart desires. So broadly speaking, it feels like Shoes of Prey plays on it's strengths by targeting the female customer.
Do you think that this is a fair assessment of our idea to focus on women, or do you think we are missing an opportunity by not producing a mens range? What do you think men want when it comes to footwear?
Image credit jagwired