Keanan Duffty, John Varvatos New Senior Design Director On This Week's Identities [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Keanan Duffty
(Photo : Courtesy of Keanan Duffty / Image by Lena Bertucci)

Award-winning British fashion designer, musician, author and former professor at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Keanan Duffty, was recently named Senior Design Director of John Varvatos

Duffty moved back to New York City from the Bay Area just a few months ago and has happily accepted the position to join the design team of John Varvatos Star USA. John Varvatos debuted its SS17 collection on Thursday, July 14 for NYFW: Men's and with Duffty's position effective immediately, we will excitedly await for next season's collection.

Scroll below to our interview with Duffty for the latest edition of Identities!


MB: First thing in the morning, you?

KD: Go to the gym and the steam, everyday. Get's my blood flowing, makes my brain work.

MB: Personal style signifier?

KD: My hair. Dyed all shades of red, orange and blonde since age 14 by my hairdresser mom.

MB: Latest item of clothing added to your closet?

KD: Joy Division t-shirt from Trash & Vaudeville in the East Village and Five John Varvatos Star USA outfits from 315 Bowery store (formerly CBGB's). 

MB: Travel essentials?

KD: Swimming shorts and after that as little as possible-carry on. 

MB: Ideal vacation spot?

KD: Palm Springs, Coachella Valley.

MB: A sight that consistently inspires?

KD: The view from our rooftop on Nassau Street, New York. The World Trade Center, The Woolworth Building. Gotham's finest vista. 

MB: Your New York go-to?

KD: Bleecker Street Records. Which is no longer on Bleecker Street, sadly.

MB: Last impressive meal?

KD: A hot fudge sundae from Big Gay Ice Cream on 7th Street in the East Village, New York.

MB: The song in your head?

KD: We can be "Heroes" Just For One Day - David Bowie. 

MB: Your perfect day consists of?

KD: Recording a song with Earl Slick at the Club House Studio in Rhineback, New York.

MB: Favorite quote?

KD: "Do what thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law" - Aleister Crowley. 'Crowley was the Wickedest Man In The World', 'The Great Beast' and an inspiration to The Beatles, Bowie and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.

MB: Design aesthetic in 3 words?

KD: Sex, Subversion, Style (as told to me by Malcolm McLaren, the architect of Punk).


Keanan Duffty
(Photo : Courtesy of Keana Duffty / Keanan Duffty backstage with models at David Bowie CFDA tribute)


MB: Artist/Designer you would love to collaborate with?

KD: Malcom McLaren/Vivenne Westwood circa 1977.

MB: If you could go to dinner with anyone deceased or living, who would it be?

KD: William Burroughs, L'Homme Invisible.

MB: _____ keeps you happy.

KD: Really loud music.

MB: Favorite film?

KD: "The Man Who Fell To Earth." Directed by Nic Roeg, starring David Bowie, Candy Clark, Rip Torn and Buck Henry.

MB: Favorite book?

KD: Anything by William Burroughs. Open any page and start reading...backwards.

MB: Dream career as a child?

KD: I wanted to be the astronaut who crash landed on The Planet of the Apes. Be careful what you wish for.

MB: Recent self-discovery?

KD: I am two years younger than I thought I was.

MB: There is a time and a place for?

KD: James Brown and the time is now and the place is here!

MB: Women should always...

KD: Be paid the same as men.

MB: Men should never...

KD: Wear speedos in public, unless they're also wearing combat boots.

MB: Best thing to hear about yourself?

KD: My wife Nancy Garcia would (ironically) say it is my lack of ego (guffaw guffaw!!!).

MB: If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?

KD: "It's all going to happen."

MB: Most adventurous thing you've done?

KD: Lived in India for three-and-a-half months after being fired from my job.


Keanan Duffty
(Photo : Courtesy of Keanan Duffty / Keanan Duffty at John Varvatos 315 Bowery Store)


MB: A great idea is...?

KD: Wearing speedos in public, with combat boots, of course.

MB: Most proud of?

KD: Collaborating with David Bowie on a fashion collection for Target. 

MB: Something most don't know about you?

KD: I love doing laundry and I love cats.

MB: Absolute must-have?

KD: Guitars. Lots of guitars. Getsch, Eastwood, Gibson. All good friends of mine.

MB: Idol?

KD: David Bowie — he is the reason I try to create stuff.

MB: Career advice?

KD: Always say yes first and figure out how to do it later.

MB: There is too much...

KD: To do, and not enough time to do it all.

MB: Your legacy...

KD: That I helped young creative fashion talents get a good start in their careers.

MB: In The end...

KD: "The love you take, is equal to the love you make." - The Beatles

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