Market Research and Brand Strategies
for the Menswear Industry

Who we are

Streetwise Brand Development is a New York based firm that, since 2004, has provided market research and brand consulting services to the menswear industry in the United States and overseas.

Our clients include domestic firms seeking to evaluate or reposition their brands, international firms wishing to develop strategies to enter the US market and investors that wish to evaluate a brand in advance of a potential acquisition.

Using its national network of correspondents, Streetwise directly assesses brand performance at retail; manages consumer focus groups to measure product desirability; and interviews retailers and buyers around the country to determine brand performance.

Our connections in the world of men’s retail span independent specialty stores, department stores, mid-tier retailers and the off-price market. Our areas of product expertise include premium denim and sportswear, accessories and tailored clothing.

Our engagements are handled with the highest degree of confidentiality and are invisible to the overall market.


Market Assessment:

Streetwise surveys buyers and retailers to evaluate the performance of the target brand in relation to its peers. Such surveys can be either ‘blind’ or ‘open’. In an open survey the interview subjects are aware of the target brand – this permits the interviewer to develop very detailed information about the issues and strengths of the target brand. In a ‘blind’ survey the subject does not know which brand is being evaluated. This maintains confidentiality but lowers the level of detail that can be developed.

Performance at Retail:

Streetwise conducts in-store visits to evaluate performance at retail in comparison with the competitive set. Analytics include: floor space allocation, in-store location; window allocation (if any); merchandise presentation; signage and marketing materials; mark-downs compared to peers; and customer traffic. This service is especially useful to evaluate a brand’s exposure in off-price retailers.

Opinion-leader Interviews / Consumer Focus Groups:

To evaluate the perception of our client’s brand, Streetwise accesses opinion leaders including fashion directors at leading retailers, menswear bloggers, and fashion editors at leading magazines. Streetwise also conducts consumer focus groups and interviews, either to evaluate specific products or to assess our client’s brand’s position compared to competitors.

Employee and Partner Brand Assessment:

Streetwise interviews key employees throughout your company, retail partners, distributors, agents and others to create a unified assessment of the assets and challenges of our client’s brand.

360-degree Brand Evaluation:

Streetwise performs a complete brand evaluation, including Market Assessment, Performance at Retail, Opinion-leader Interviews, Consumer Focus Groups and Employee and Partner Brand Assessment to create the most complete evaluation of our client’s brand.

Executive Facilitation:

Streetwise manages a full day or multi-day session where key executives come together to define or redefine branded strategies. Streetwise performs research in advance of the event and manages the discussion through: defining the challenge; soliciting solutions; evaluating solutions; selecting a course of action; developing an execution plan.

Case Studies

Market Assessment:

Client: $100 million men’s sportswear brand.

Mandate: Assess brand position in UK, US and EU. Propose unified strategy to reposition brand in all markets. The brand wished to trade up for increased brand equity without losing critical upper-moderate revenue.

Research: In-depth assessment interviews with 22 US retailers carrying the collection. Interviews with key executives throughout the company; interview with distributors in 7 EU markets. Review of product line, pricing and marketing, including advertising and new media strategies.

Result: Streetwise proposed creation of a new sub-brand to focus on the better price tier. The client adopted the strategy, dramatically increasing the price range of its offering and immediately adding key better accounts including Bloomindgale’s and Selfridges.

Brand Evaluation and Acquisition:

Client: $800 million publicly traded apparel company.

Mandate: Evaluate the brand strength of a women’s wear acquisition target. Propose strategies to grow the brand, if purchased. Purchase negotiations were underway and the evaluation had to be handled within 20 days and with extraordinary discretion.

Research: Formed investigative team to conduct 25 store evaluation visits in Northeast, New England and Mid-West. Also designed and executed a telephone survey of buyers and retailers to evaluate the brand’s performance compared to its peers. The survey was constructed in a ‘blind’ format that did not disclose the identity of the target.

Result: Streetwise determined the brand was underperforming at one national partner, but was otherwise strong. Streetwise identified challenges to expanded department store distribution due to the brand’s better price point. The client purchased the target in an approximately $80 million transaction and announced a growth-strategy focused on opening company-owned stores.

Market Entry:

Client: European menswear brand seeking to terminate the license for its US licensed accessories collection and re-launch the business in-house.

Mandate: Analyze current distribution of licensed product, perform competitive analysis and propose a price product and distribution strategy for the re-launched collection. Determine if the brand was strong enough to sell across better and upper-moderate tiers.

Research: In-store evaluations throughout Northeast, including better, upper-moderate and off-price units. Built competitive analysis and case studies for accessories brands selling across multiple tiers. Identified pricing disconnects in current licensed product.

Result: Streetwise determined it was possible for the brand to be relevant in both the better and upper-moderate channels and recommended a tiered pricing and product strategy. The plan was adopted by the client and is scheduled for FW12 launch.


Thomas Cunningham

Thomas Cunningham

Streetwise Brand Development was founded by Thomas Cunningham to offer brand consulting services to the U.S. menʼs fashion industry, particularly the premium denim and premium sportswear markets. Using connections and expertise gained through his years as editor for WWD and DNR magazines and business analytics gained during an earlier career in finance, Cunningham provides carefully researched brand assessments and strategies that are attuned to the subtleties of the marketplace and the realities of business.

Streetwise launched in 2004 when Cunningham developed the initial marketing materials for Project, the enormously successful tradeshow that was ultimately sold to MAGIC/Advanstar for over $37 million. Another early client was Diesel USA for whom Cunningham provided brand assessments backed by market research of both retailers and end-customers. Additional current and past clients of Streetwise include Itochu Prominent USA and CFDA designer Mark McNairy.

Cunningham took a two-year hiatus from consulting between 2007 and 2009 when he was chief financial officer of Thom Browne, Inc., the menʼs luxury fashion brand. While in that position he gained extensive experience with the mechanics of doing business in Japan and elsewhere overseas, as well as valuable strategic planning and operations expertise.

From 2004 to 2006 while operating Streetwise, Cunningham also launched and ran Sacque Suit a better-priced line of slim cut suits that was retailed by Bloomingdaleʼs and specialty stores including Rolo. For his design work at Sacque Suit, Cunningham won a ʻFresh Faces in Fashionʼ award from industry development group Gen-Art.

Contact Us

our location: 211 Fishkill Ave., Beacon, NY 12508

Streetwise Brand Development, LLC

211 Fishkill Ave, Suite 202C
Beacon, NY 12508

T: +1 (845) 765-1150