Quick marketing argument for why the men in heels market has always stalled--and will probably always stall.
The key to success for any new trend is to focus in on the dominant adoption type in the current phase of the market, learn to appreciate that type of person's archetype, and then adjust the marketing strategy accordingly. This is known as the Rogers Diffusion of Innovations Graph. This is the model widely adopted by the tech sector (and others) and repeatedly referenced by Goldman Sachs, Citi reports and other leading Blue Chip financial institutions. It's also referenced in the fashion industry. Once the Early Majority takes up a new trend, it crosses what Malcolm Gladwell calls the "Tipping Point". That's the point everyone here is hoping for.
Innovators want to be the first among their peers with a new trend. They seek out new styles just to see if the new style will work. In fashion, this falls into the hands of professional insiders like Rick Owens (heels for men), Heidi Slimane (Saint Laurent/Dior Homme heels for men), and John Paul Gaultier (heels for men).
Early Adopters by contrast don't invent, yet they are willing to buy into new styles early in their life cycle. In the fashion economy, this often falls into the hands of celebrities and digital influencers. Kanye West (wearing a women's Celine blouse), Prince (heels), David Bowie (heels/androgyny). Some may argue that likes, shares, and comments don't increase the velocity of cash flow in the economy. That argument is based on uneducated ignorance. Go to the CMO of any large fashion corporation and ask them which spend converts more. Blue Chip advertising/marketing (Vogue, Harpers, or NY Times) or Digital Influencers (Blonde Salad, Kristina Bazan, Aimee Song). Unanimously, digital influencer spend ROI outperforms Blue Chip ROI. It's a seismic shift observable in numbers at the C-Suite level.
The catch is uptake by men in heels keeps stalling at the Innovator stage. There aren't celebrities or male digital influencers regularly wearing heels. While innovators see heels for men as a status symbol of innovation, Early Adopters still see it as a symbol of downward assimilation. Why? In most countries, males are the In Power Group. The Out Power group are females. Socially identifying with the Out Power Group decreases status (unless for charity).
The value proposition then? Get proof of concept for men in heels in countries--not innovator tribes in the fashion industry-- where women are the In Power Group. Experiment on a limited trial basis. Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway consistently come out on top of gender global rankings. If market cap is even promising in these countries, then new ways of marketing to Early Adopters should be applied. "Be unlike everyone else, be unique. Wear heels." "Women unanimously think taller men are more attractive. Wear heels. Be taller." "Women unanimously think men with good posture are more attractive. Heels give you good posture. Wear heels". "Women unanimously think men with long legs are more attractive than men with short legs. Get longer legs by wearing heels" "people associate height with power. Wear heels to appear more powerful" etc.
While totally not something I would ever invest time or money into, it's an interesting idea to explore.