IN FEBRUARY, British menswear brand Percival launched a round of open investment, offering people the chance to own part of the company. “We truly believe it’s the community that drives the business,” said founder and creative director Chris Gove in a campaign video on social media.

Depending on the level of investment, you could secure permanent discounts, dinners with senior management, even birthday gifts from the brand.

Away from the stock market, Percival offers football training sessions, a space in central London for “decent knit or jacket chat” (the Soho store) and a consistent stream of wry, snarky content featuring the brightest stars of British comedy. Everything is underpinned with an IYKYK tone of voice; a bonhomie of underdog spirit for lads that like nice shirts, but hate big fashion.

“Percival is not an exclusive club,” continues Gove in the video, but instead a “movement” of likeminded mates. Percival is indeed inclusive, brilliantly so in fact, but like lots of menswear brands right now, it is kind of clubby. You don’t just buy from, you buy in.

Over the past few years, the notion of being a ‘friend’ of a brand has expanded.

Aimé Leon Dore ’The World’s Borough’ campaign

Traditionally, models and celebs fronted fashion campaigns, but now, and in menswear especially, a label’s ‘community’ is key to its communication. Aimé Leon Dore does it with ‘The World’s Borough’, a campaign featuring the beautiful and cool of Manhattan’s Lower East Side (including photographers, skateboarders, shopkeepers, artists) modeling new collections. J Crew just launched its Spring collection in a similar way, with US Esquire editor Michael Sebastian fronting the campaign. And in Paris, tailoring brand Fursac has its ‘Fursac Friends’, a coterie of handsome creatives.

US Esquire’s Michael Sebastian, for J. Crew

Savile Row brand Drake’s takes the in-crowd content to another level, regularly posting shots of well-shod staff at play. Perhaps they’re ten-pin bowling, or indulging in the first beaujolais of the season. Catching trout on Lake Michigan… chicly. Anyone can dress Drakish, but only those on the inside can live Drakish.


Menswear’s community economy has expanded beyond brands, most notably in podcasts and newsletters. The likes of Throwing Fits and Blackbird Spyplane command big, loyal followings, defining the zeitgeist and lexicon for a sizable chunk of menswear bros in the US and beyond. (You can support the former on Patreon – the ‘Big Gang’ tier offers exclusive podcasts and videos, as well as the “satisfaction of knowing you’re close, personal friends with [hosts] Jimmy and Larry.”)

In the late ‘00s, Tumblr’s #menswear era helped style-curious guys to coalesce under a banner, providing a safe space to ask questions about blazers, or flex in selvedge jeans and a pointy tan brogues. In the main, those three-piece-suited days are remembered with a nostalgic ick; a conflicting combo of “what were we thinking?” and “wasn’t that nice?”, and ultimately, a lament that the scene withered away.

But looking at the landscape now, one in which brands hang out with consumers, and podcasters tour the continents with sell-out live shows – and the hashtag #menswear has over 7 billion plays on TikTok – it looks like the ‘community’ is bigger than ever.

So, are you looking to meet like-minded jawnsmen in your area?

This story originally appeared on Esquire UK