Of course consumption doesn't always equal preference, and companies do help set trends, but until you can show that companies play a larger role in setting trends than they do cater to the extant desires of their customers, that argument just weakens the statement that companies only respond to what their clients want. Which for the record I was never arguing in the first place.
I was arguing that while there are statistically significant percentages of both genders that prefer to non conform, there are more folks who do conform on the whole, and that in light of the larger markets that conformity augers it makes sense for companies to cater their products first to those larger markets, before more specialized companies, or smaller departments in larger ones cater their products to those smaller markets.
A company might be able to influence what color, or whats hip with regards to shoes, but they don't control the base desire for shoes. Just like Glock doesn't make me want to buy a gun, but may influence what type of gun I want.