Decoding Soft: Gen Z Soft Masculine Menswear Trends Through Semantic Network Analysis

Tin Chun Cheung, Sun Young Choi

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review


With the sprouting of social media in recent years, new menswear tribes have emerged – e-bois, sad boys & softboys among Generation Z. This study examines menswear trends over 10 years through semantic network analysis on Orange3 machine learning. We aim to debunk soft masculinity in high-end fashion popularised by Gen Z cultures which differ from dated concepts such as androgyny and metrosexual. Through semantic network analysis, we quantified i) dominant design trends, ii) examined the connective power of trends under the degree of centrality and iii) studied the correlation between concepts. Our results revealed dominant trends in menswear with their corresponding design features and how soft trends have evolved through time-series analysis. The methods of this study overcome human-based forecasting’s predispositions by analysing 3,047 menswear collection reports from Vogue US via machine learning combining technological efficiency with human ingenuity. Our research points to contextualising menswear trends into semantic structures reinforced by quantitative and qualitative analysis. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of adopting this methodology into organising design trend concepts, recognising patterns, fashion forecasting, academic research, and potentials as an ideation tool for the creative industry.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Apr 2022
EventInternational Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). 2022 Conference: Fashion Re-imagined - Nottingham Trent University and virtual, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Apr 20228 Apr 2022


ConferenceInternational Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI). 2022 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
City Nottingham
Internet address

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