Updated: Wednesday, 15 January 2014 22:24 | By Agence France-Presse

Paris fashion week kicks off with menswear

After London and Milan, men's fashion hits Parisian runways Wednesday, with some 50 shows planned as more and more European and Asian houses battle to get a slot amid rising interest in this section of the market.


Paris fashion week kicks off with menswear

Models present creations for Kenzo during the men's spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear fashion show on June 29, 2013 in Paris

Kickstarting Paris fashion week before bowing out on Sunday to make way for haute couture, houses such as Kenzo and Hermes will showcase their collections for men, an increasing number of whom no longer buy clothes when they need to but when they want to.

"The market for men has developed a lot, especially in the past two or three years," said Veronique Nichanian, Hermes' menswear creative director, who will showcase her collection on Saturday evening.

"Now, they (men) have the same buying impulses as women."

On Wednesday, France's Carven, Valentino and Belgium's Raf Simons -- who created his collection in tandem with US artist Sterling Ruby -- hit the runways in some of the most beautiful places of the French capital, in the National School of Fine Arts or near the Place Vendome, the epitome of luxury.

US designer Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Japan's Yohji Yamamoto and Dries Van Noten will take over on Thursday.

"Three years ago, we had three days of shows. Now, we have five," said Didier Grumbach, head of the French Couture Federation, amid growing interest for men's fashion.

Nichanian explained that men's fashion is "less codified than before."

"In some sectors, men are no longer forced to wear suits to work," she said, pointing out that different styles were now blending together.

Emerging menswear-only brands are also attracting more and more attention, such as France's AMI, founded by Alexandre Mattiussi, who previously worked for Dior, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs.

On Sunday evening, after the Saint Laurent show by creative director Hedi Slimane, menswear gives way to six days of haute couture during which Italy's legendary Schiaparelli house makes a comeback more than 40 years after the death of its founder.

Versace kicks off on Sunday, and the Schiaparelli show by brand new creative director Marco Zanini gets underway on Monday morning.

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