Friday, December 19, 2014

Keanan Duffty Fashion Biography

Patrick McDonald : Chatting With Keanan Duffty. THE HIGH BROW: JUNE 2005





ON A RECENT AFTERNOON I MET WITH MY PAL KEANAN DUFFTY IN HIS SOHO STUDIO TO CHAT ABOUT CLUB DAYS GONE BY, FASHION AND THE THINGS THAT INSPIREHIM. KEANAN WAS BORN IN YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND IN THE SWINGING '60S. HISINTERESTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FASHION AND MUSIC. AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 14HE FORMED A SCHOOLBOY PUNK BAND NAMED SORDID DETAILS AND ACQUIRED HISFIRST PAIR OF BONDAGE TROUSERS. AFTER A FEW GIGS, THE GROUP SPLIT UP,BUT HE KEPT THE BONDAGE TROUSERS! HE WENT ON TO FORM ANOTHER GROUP, ANELECTRO COMBO CALLED WONDER STORIES. IT WAS A NEW ROMANTIC BAND. IN THEEARLY '80S, KEANAN WENT OFF TO STUDY FASHION AT ST. MARTIN'S SCHOOL OFART IN LONDON, THE ALMA MATER OF SUCH LUMINARIES AS MALCOLM MCLAREN,ALEXANDER MCQUEEN AND JOHN GALLIANO. KEANAN WAS INFLUENCED BY THE FACTTHAT THE SEX PISTOLS PLAYED THEIR FIRST GIG THERE. HE GRADUATED WITHHONORS -- I WOULDN'T EXPECT ANYTHING LESS FROM HIM. AFTER GRADUATION, HECONTINUED HIS FASHION AND MUSIC PURSUITS BEFORE COMING TO THE U.S. THE KEANAN DUFFY MEN'S COLLECTION WAS LAUNCHED UNDER THE SLINKY VAGABONDLABEL - A MONIKER THAT COMES FROM A LYRIC IN DAVID BOWIE'S SONG "YOUNGAMERICANS." LET'S HEAR WHAT THIS FASHION REBEL HAS TO SAY:

PAPERMAG: Let's start by having you tell us about your fashionphilosophy.

KEANAN DUFFTY: It all boils down to subversion in the sneakiest sort of way. I grewup being influenced by things that I didn't really recognize as fashion.The subversive sort of things -- I'm always trying to sneak a bit ofthat into what I do. I call it "sneaky fashion!" I've always tried tosubvert the neighbors.

PM: Were you always interested in fashion? What were some of your styleinfluences?

KD: When I was a kid, I loved to watch music on television. The firstmusic that really excited me was glam rock. I didn't realize then thatall the bands were wearing clothes by fabulous designers. Like, RoxyMusic was wearing Anthony Price and Queen was wearing Bill Gibb, but Ijust knew the bands and thought they were wearing their own clothes. Ithought Kanzai Yamamoto was knitting his one-legged jumpsuit at home! Itwasn't until years later, when the punk thing was happening, that I knewMalcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood were dressing the Sex Pistols. Irealized that the bands were being influenced by fashion designers interms of what they were wearing. So that was when I realized there wasthis big link between music and fashion.

PM: Did you emulate these band's outfits yourself?

KD: Oh yeah. I used to draw with glue on clothes and then sprinkleglitter all over. Of course it would all fall off! But I used to wear mymom's platform boots.

PM: Were the boots Terry de Havilland?

KD: Oh, no. I'm sure they were knock-offs. My mum had no idea -- shejust loved them... the crochet tops and all that.

PM: Did she ever go to her closet and find her boots missing and think,"Oh, Keanan is wearing my boots again..."

KD: Oh yeah. My dad was from a family of eight brothers who were allcoal miners, but [he] just let me do whatever I liked.

PM: They never called you the coal miner's daughter, did they?

KD: I'm sure they did! [Laughter]. In retrospect, they werereally easy going about letting me do what I did. They wouldn't walkdown the street with me -- but they were very easygoing.

PM: But your friends dressed like you, didn't they?

KD: No, I was actually the oddball.

PM: How did you get into the whole New Romantic period?

KD: During the glam thing I was making a few bits and pieces here andthere. But when the punk thing happened, I was about thirteen, Irealized you could go out and buy some of these things. You know, PVCtops and pants. It was part of that crossover between glam and punk. Ireally loved it. I'm still very influenced by that whole period.

PM: Did you get into the club scene?

KD: Fortunately, our town was only an hour by high-speed train fromLondon. You couldn't get back at night, so we had to sleep overnight inKing's Cross station in our full makeup and Cossack coats. When wearrived in London before heading out to the clubs, we'd go into thestation's toilets and change into our Little Lord Fauntleroy outfits andgo out to clubs like Blitz and Hell. It was like heaven -- we lovedit!

PM: So Hell was like heaven?

KD: Definitely. The clubs all closed at 2 a.m., so we'd have to go sitin a cafe with our one cup of tea, waiting to head back to sleep in thestation.

PM: Wasn't it dangerous?

KD: Oh, no. It was filled with prostitutes and hustlers. They left usalone. It's interesting that the people in provincial towns took to punkand glam much more than people in London did. Because, you know, peoplein London had to be very, very cool, and this was all so new. Whereas inprovincial towns we were all really going for it. We would all get on aminibus and go see all our favorite bands.

PM: Freaks on the bus!

KD: Exactly. It was a great time.

PM: What happened from there?

KD: I desperately wanted to leave my hometown, so I applied to collegein London. I went to St. Martin's to study fashion. I was on a crashcourse in this world, all the other kids really knew their stuff - [theywere] very sophisticated.

PM: So, were you a serious student? Or were you out on the town andenjoying your freedom in the big city?

KD: I worked really hard, but I also went out all the time. St. Martin'sis in the middle of London so it was easy. It was a great place tobe.

PM: After you graduated college, you decided to come to New York? Whatled to that?

KD: I started my own line in London called Keanan Duffy. The firstcollection was all based on Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was towelingfabric stitched with muscles with "Macho" written on the back. It wasall very ironic because the people wearing this were wearing full makeupand platform shoes. The great thing about doing that was that one of thegirls on the cover of Roxy Music's album Country Lifewas wearingmy designs. The business part of it was a disaster of course, but theexperience was invaluable. I got a lot of press in places like TheFace and i-D.

PM: When did you move to New York?

KD: Well, in 1989, my friend Liam had moved here and I came to visit. Ifell in love with the city then and it took me four more years to movehere. In '93 when I moved here, I lived in the East Village, which Iloved. It was very lucky, because the location suited me so well. Istarted by working in the corporate side of the business. It was hard, Ididn't like the politics, but it was very educational. I hated having toexplain a creative idea.

PM: Tell me about Slinky Vagabond.

KD: I was doing some music stuff and working at a British-themed storecalled Nylon Squid. I was really inspired to be doing my own designsagain. That led to my designs being bought by the store I had worked in.The label was called Slinky Vagabond at that time. It was small. I onlysold to about 12 stores.

PM: Is this around the time you won the Rising Star award?

KD: No, that happened in 2002. That's the only award I've ever won foranything!

PM: I know there'll be many more to come! So now you're here in Sohodoing your designs.

KD: I'm trying to do what I love to do but keep things grounded.

PM: What keeps you grounded?

KD: That would definitely be my wife, Nancy. We met 10 years ago. She put up with me being so difficult, and I finally saw the light andrealized I'm the luckiest person in the world to have her. I definitelywouldn't be able to do what I do without her. She's so supportive andshe's my partner in the business.

PM: So what's on the horizon for you?

KD: We've already done things with Doc Marten and Reebok. We're working on a fragrance with Aveda that should launch in September.

PM: You've also worked with Kid Robot.

KD: I really love working with people who are like-minded.

PM: What about your goals, your dreams?

KD: I'd like to be a household name doing what I love to do so that Ican reach out to people no matter where they come from. Whatever onedoes in life, I really feel like if you follow your dream, you can getthere.

PM: As the great Steven Tyler from Aerosmith once sang: "Dream on, dream on, dream until your dreams come true!" Thank you, Keanan.

San Francisco Academy of Art Students Open Shop - WWD



December 18, 2014

San Francisco Academy of Art Students Open Shop

Students from San Francisco’s Academy of Art University are getting some first-hand experience this holiday season. The school has opened a permanent 1,500-square-foot not-for-profit retail space called Shop657 at 657 Sutter Street that will sell apparel, shoes, accessories and decorative lifestyle pieces designed by students and alumni.

“With Shop657 we are carrying on the momentum that the Academy of Art University School of Fashion experienced with our successful pop-up store, which made its debut at our spring show this past May,” said Keanan Duffty, the school’s senior director of fashion merchandising. “Creating and operating a dedicated fashion retail space is a unique opportunity and a logical progression for our fashion merchandising and design students and alumni.”

The school’s merchandising students transformed what was formerly a liquor store into the retail store, and they also will operate the boutique. Items for sale range from $50 to $800 and include products from alumni brands including Mansoor Scott, San Francycle, Rinat Brodach, Freda Salvador, Mute by Joanne Lu, Apartment 415 and Golden Pony Workshop.

As part of their semester coursework, BFA merchandising product development students will create gift items and accessories and BFA merchandising and buying students will select the products to be sold. They will collaborate to set pricing and work on the marketing plan.

“The School of Fashion is committed to providing industry experience for our students,” said Simon Ungless, executive director of the School of Fashion. “For our design students, that manifests in the opportunity to show in runway shows at New York Fashion Week and for our fashion journalism and styling students, the opportunity to work on 180 magazines lends them practical experience in the editorial world. Now, for our fashion merchandising students, the chance to work on Shop657 gives them firsthand knowledge of working in a retail store environment.”

The store will close at the end of the fall semester on Dec. 20 and reopen in January. All proceeds from the sales go to the Student Scholarship Fund.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sordid Details - 1978/1979

 Sordid Details: Baz Curtis (Drums), Jonathan Cameron (vocals), Keanan Duffty (Guitar/vox),Dave Huzzard (Bass). Photos Courtesy Martin Beard and Dave Huzzard.

If Punk ended on New Years Eve 1976, I didn’t notice until the last days of 1978. For me most of 1978 and 1979 was spent thrashing out barely listenable songs with nascent New Wave school boy group Sordid Details. The four of us, which included Scooby on vocals, Bub on Bass and Baz on drums were fifteen years old and aside from a cover of ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ we wrote our own material. When I say material I use that word very loosely. They weren’t songs so much as shouty bursts of noise. We managed a gig at our local church hall and one in a nearby school gymnasium and maybe a couple of others. I think word traveled about our band though the school grapevine and a bit of amused excitement ensued.





1978 was a watershed year and during this time we managed to see gigs featuring many of the major punk and new wave bands: The Clash, Generation X, The Jam, Siouxsie & The Banshees and the Radio Stars! After the untimely demise of the Sex Pistols though, the energy seemed to wane from the movement. A bunch of second wave brain dead merchants like Sham 69 certainly put the damper on it for me.

During my time at boarding school I had my first fledgling stage performance as an actor. I playing a spiky haired punk rock Brutus in the school play, William Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar. I would like to think our version was along the lines of Baz Lurman’s Romeo & Juliet reboot-all modern costumes and pop culture references. But no, we wore our school military cadet uniforms because we could not get away with togas.  Dialects were contemporary as there was no chance in us feigning Olivier or Guielgud’s Shakespearian pronouncements. 
I’ve never been good at learning lines and even today I have to perform on stage with all the lyrics in a book in front of me. My nervous turn as the back stabbing Brutus is probably at the core of this. Our theatre group had rehearsed plenty of times and yet those damn lines would not stick. On the evening of our performance I thought I had it down but nerves got the better of me. When it came time for my most dramatic entrance I tripped head over heals onto the stage to a round of guffaws from the entire school. No RADA for me then...


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Total Dragon Pop in available Japan on Amazon



Total Dragon Pop

2014/10/13 | フォーマット: MP3
TOTAL DRAGON POP is the new 12 track album from British musician, fashion designer and author Keanan Duffty. TDP will be launched with a release party during BOWIEBALL in New York on Sunday 12th October 2014, where Duffty is performing. 
Notorious for turning out the downtown glitterati, BOWIEBALL is heralded as the “it affair” by the New York Times with attendees including Debbie Harry, Chloe Sevigny and Mick Rock. TOTAL DRAGON POP will be available on CD, Amazon  and on iTunes Monday 13th October 2014.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Total Dragon Pop – Album release. Monday October 13th 2014


Total Dragon Pop – Album release. Monday October 13th 2014

TOTAL DRAGON POP is the new 12 track album from British musician, fashion designer and author Keanan Duffty. TDP will be launched with a release party during BOWIEBALL in New York on Sunday 12th October 2014, where Duffty is performing. 
Notorious for turning out the downtown glitterati, BOWIEBALL is heralded as the “it affair” by the New York Times with attendees including Debbie Harry, Chloe Sevigny and Mick Rock. TOTAL DRAGON POP will be available on CD and on iTunes Monday 13th October 2014.

Jon Savage, author of the punk bible England’s Dreaming, coined the album’s title in reference to Duffty’s Chinese star sign. Tracks are produced long time Bowie guitarist Earl Slick. The album features Slick, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols and Clem Burke of Blondie on a cover of Boys Keep Swinging. Other tracks include eclectic cover versions of songs originally recorded by Katy Perry, Joy Division, Lana Del Rey, Primal Scream, Japan, David Bowie, Bauhaus and Gary Numan. The album was recorded at the Club House Studio in Rhinebeck, New York. 
Duffty’s last album KILLERS IN GLITTER was released in December 2012.

Duffty has always believed that music and fashion go hand in hand. He first performed in the British Punk band Sordid Details in 1978. In 1980 he founded Wonder Stories, a New Romantic group influenced by David Bowie and Roxy Music. By 1983 Duffty began working solo with Falcon Stuart, former manager of Adam Ant. Stuart arranged for Duffty to record with EMI and MCA records resulting in the EDM album WATERSPORT released on Awesome Records in 1986. Duffty also recorded at the iconic Maida Vale Studios for BBC Radio DJ Janice Long and he performed live throughout the UK. Duffty relocated to New York in 1993 and recorded the EDM track and video I AM AN ALIEN featuring famed club diva Amanda Lepore. Duffty designed stage clothes for the Sex Pistols 2003 US tour, created a fashion collection with David Bowie for Target and was a design consultant for Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B label. Music though, is Duffty’s passion and he has performed at many iconic events including the Marc Bolan 30th Anniversary show at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park alongside Patti Smith, Scissor Sisters and Moby. Duffty also joined the extraordinary concert line-up of Joan Jett, Slash and Ronnie Spector at the opening of the John Varvatos boutique in the former CBGB at 315 Bowery. Duffty says of the iconic punk rock venue:

“I never performed at the original CBGB. By the time I moved to New York it was well past it’s prime and only crummy goth bands were showcasing there. Falcon Stuart introduced me to Hilly Krystal in the 90s and we talked about creating a CBGB fashion collection, but sadly nothing came of it. Hilly is a legend, deservedly so. There is nothing like the original CBGB left anywhere in the world now.”

Aside from music Keanan Duffty is a member of the Council Of Fashion Designers Of America (CFDA) and author of Rebel Rebel Anti Style (Rizzoli 2009). Duffty has worked as a design director and guest designer with international brands including Ben Sherman, Reebok, Dr Martens, KidRobot, Aveda and Gola.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top Shops: Artful menswear shopping options from Keanan Duffty



Keanan Duffty is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and once collaborated on a collection with David Bowie. He is now senior director of fashion merchandising at the Academy of Art University and senior fashion editor at SOMA magazine. Photo: Shannon May, The Chronicle.


Keanan Duffty
Duffty is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and once collaborated on a collection with David Bowie. He is now senior director of fashion merchandising at the Academy of Art University and senior fashion editor at SOMA magazine.
The Kooples “French dandy meets British rock” at this new Pacific Heights boutique. The minimalist shop’s eponymous collection (which includes womenswear) features high-end suits made in collaboration with Savile Row tailor Patrick Grant, plus rock-star jackets and skinny jeans good for a chic mod-punk look. 2241 Fillmore St., S.F. (415) 440-4210. www.thekooples.com.

Sandro “Pacific Heights is quickly becoming the go-to destination for Francophiles,” and Sandro’s sleek monochrome boutique of blousons, leather and distressed denim is proof of the effortlessly chic attitude French fashion is known for. Designers Evelyne and Ilan Chétrite have eyes for detail, as evidenced by the label’s immaculate tailoring and modern, simple cuts applied to outerwear, button-downs and T-shirts. Chétrite calls the Sandro look “a bit of rock ’n’ roll for the elegant nonconformist rebel.” 2033 Fillmore St., S.F. (415) 292-4841. www.us.sandro-paris.com.
Wonderland SF Clothing boutique meets art gallery at Wonderland SF. The “foremost independent showcase for emerging fashion labels and artists in San Francisco” is the brainchild of designer, curator and DJ Irene Hernandez-Feiks, who has long been a supporter of local talent. San Francycle sweatshirts by Academy of Art alum Tommy Pham and 1970s name-plate belts “worthy of the 'Dukes of Hazard’” are a few of the items to look out for. 1266 Valencia St., S.F. (415) 641-4600. www.wonderlandsf.com.

Self Edge “This is the premier denim shop on the Valencia Street hipster runway,” says Duffty. Indigo experts Kiya and Demitra Babzani painstakingly seek out the best raw, selvage denim, shirts and leather accessories, boasting sole exclusivity in the U.S. for most of their brands. Plus, they provide in-house repair and hemming services using their vintage sewing machines. 714 Valencia St., S.F. (415) 558-0658. www.selfedge.com.

Time Frame “The ideal outpost for completing an authentic 'American Hustle’ fashion statement,” Time Frame stocks iconic and ironic vintage sunglasses from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Owner Curtis Hawes rounds out the collection with hard-to-find Japanese and European eyewear, old-school Seiko watches, and vintage costume jewelry by Dior andYves Saint Laurent. Rumor has it that Nicki Minaj is a fan. 418 Valencia St., S.F. (415) 552-5373. www.rareeyewear.com.