Keanan Duffty

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Keanan Duffty with punk impresario Malcolm McLaren.
Keanan Duffty with punk impresario Malcolm McLaren.

Keanan Duffty (born 28 April 1964) is a British fashion designer and musician based in New York City. Duffty studied fashion design at Saint Martin's School of Art in London, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[1] He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Early years[edit]

Duffty was a founding member of the British Punk band Sordid Details with Martin Beard (Drums), Jonathan Cameron (vocals) and Dave Huzzard (Bass). Formed in 1978 in the North of England Sordid Details were influenced by the Sex Pistols, for whom Duffty would later design stage clothes.[2]

In 1980, Duffty formed Wonder Stories, a New Romantic group influenced by David Bowie and Roxy Music. Wonder Stories gained support from Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell and reviews in the Sounds music paper. Wonder Stories performed live in 1980 and 1981, however by 1982 Duffty moved to London to study fashion design at St Martin's School of Art. Duffty worked at PX, the London New Romantic boutique and former haunt of Visage vocalist Steve Strange.

Duffty was discovered by music business insider Falcon Stuart, former manager of Adam and the Ants, and X Ray Spex. Stuart arranged for Duffty to record demos for EMI and MCA records, eventually releasing a 12" dance mix of Water Sport on Falcon Stuart's Awesome Records label (AOR4) in 1985. Duffty recorded a four song session at Maida Vale Studios for BBC Radio 1 DJ Janice Long. Water Sport was record of the week in Smash Hits, reviewed in the NME by Dylan Jones and became an club hit in the UK. Duffty played a number of London shows including the ID Magazine Fifth anniversary party at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Duffty relocated to New York in 1993 where he recorded the song I Am An Alien. The Video featured famed downtown diva Amanda Lepore as a futuristic nurse and has become a cult classic on YouTube.[3]


Keanan Duffty established his fashion label and SoHo design studio in 1999.[4] The collection is inspired by subversive subcultures and mixes high fashion with youth culture, music and British iconography. Over 70 premium specialty retailers carried the collection from 1999-2006 including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Fred Segal, Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, Bay Crews and Journal Standard in Japan.

Keanan Duffty has a celebrity following that includes David Bowie,[5] The Sex Pistols, Aerosmith, The New York Dolls, Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, Bow Wow Wow, The Offspring, Stray Cats, Elizabeth Jagger, Ivanka Trump, Steven Dorff, Jimmy Fallon, The Smashing Pumpkins, Ashlee Simpson, Alyssa Milano, Kevin Dillon, Sarah Jessica Parker, and N'Sync.[6] In 2001 Duffty designed a space suit worn by Martha Stewart in a Kmart commercial.

In 2007 Duffty collaborated with David Bowie to create a limited-edition Bowie inspired collection for Target stores nationwide.[7][8]

Duffty's clothes have been featured on TV shows including American Idol, Entourage, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Rock Star: Supernova and several music videos. Duffty also designs the clothes for his rock band Slinky Vagabond.

In 2010 Duffty announced the return of his signature label, re-entering the market with a contemporary men's collection for spring. The collection launched with 50 pieces, including woven shirts, knits, outerwear, skinny jeans, vests, trenchcoats and band jackets.[9] On September 10, Duffty staged a guerilla-style fashion show in New York City. The models arrived by bus and marched at Lincoln Center with protest signs displaying lyrics from songs by Kraftwerk and Adam Ant.[10]

From 2012 to 2015 Duffty was Senior Academic Director of the Fashion Merchandising program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Polimoda fashion institute in Florence Italy named Duffty as their Mentor for the Masters Program in Fashion Styling, from April 2017.


Keanan Duffty is lead singer in the band Slinky Vagabond, alongside Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Clem Burke (Blondie), and Earl Slick (David Bowie/John Lennon).[11] Slinky Vagabond made their debut in May 2007 at Irving Plaza as part of Joey Ramone's annual birthday bash.[12] Slinky Vagabond also performed for Gen Art during New York fashion week and at the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. In 2008, XS games launched Pop Star Guitar for the Wii and PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system. Songs include "Glitterbug" from Slinky Vagabond, along with tracks by Fall Out Boy, Paramore and All-American Rejects.

Duffty also performed at the Marc Bolan 30th Anniversary show at the Delacorte Theatre in September 2007 alongside Patti Smith, Scissor Sisters, Moby, Lloyd Cole and the New York Dolls. On April 18, 2008, Duffty was part of an extraordinary concert line-up featuring performances by Clem Burke, Slash, Tom Morrello, Alan Vega, Ronnie Spector, Ian Hunter, Cheetah Chrome, Joan Jett, and Handsome Dick Manitoba. The world of music and fashion fused as John Varvatos celebrated the opening of his second boutique in New York City at 315 Bowery, a space that formerly housed the seminal underground music club CBGB's.

In May 2008, Duffty was a featured performer at the Loser's Lounge tribute to The Kinks at Joe's Public Theater in New York City with Earl Slick.[13] Duffty regularly sings at downtown New York events such as 'Bowie Ball', held bi-annually at Don Hill's club in the Village.

In December 2012, Duffty released a new album titled Killers in Glitter. A compilation of Duffty's music, from Water Sport (1985 ) to his work with Slinky Vagabond in 2007. Songs were written or co-written by Duffty with the exception of two covers: the David Bowie classic "Boys Keep Swinging" and the Bauhaus goth anthem Bela Lugosi's Dead.[14] Duffty can be heard covering Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey, Joy Division and Primal Scream on his most recent album Total Dragon Pop (2014) with Earl Slick producing and playing guitar. Duffty's albums Killers In Glitter, with contributions from Slick, Glen Matlock and Clem Burke, Total Dragon Pop and Watersport: 30th Anniversary Edition (2015) are available on iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, SoundCloud and most streaming services.


Duffty's television credits include serving as host since 2008 on Emmy award winning Plum TV show The Juice, for whom he has interviewed cultural icons including Gore Vidal, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Elvis Costello, Russell Simmons, punk impresario Malcolm McLaren, and actors Laura Dern, Courteney Cox, Alec Baldwin and Chase Crawford of Gossip Girl. Duffty has appeared as a mentor on TLC’s Faking It, and has been featured extensively on MTV, Videofashion, E! Entertainment, Sirius XM Radio and BLUE GOLD, a new documentary on the iconic blue jean.[15]

Rebel Rebel-Anti Style[edit]

In 2009, Duffty wrote (with Paul Gorman) Rebel Rebel-Anti Style.[16] Tracing the roots of rebel style to the music scene, the book explores how fashionable music and "anti-fashion" icons, like David Bowie, Sex Pistols, and Gwen Stefani, have inspired fashion.[17] The book was published by Rizzoli (US) and Adelita (UK).

Duffty has given a series of "Rebel Rebel-Anti Style" lectures at fashion schools, including the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons The New School in New York City, Marist College, the Academy of Art San Francisco, LIM College,[18] the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts,[19] and the Brooklyn Museum.[20]

Velvet Revolver[edit]

In 2008, Duffty received two instrumental tracks from Sanctuary Management, the representatives of Velvet Revolver. The 2 demo tracks were titled Muthafucka and Clappy. Duffty's challenge was to write and record vocals and lyrics for these songs. Duffty went into Club House studios in Upstate New York with Earl Slick as producer. The resulting session produced new versions of the Velvet Revolver instrumentals now entitled Fear No Evil and Prima Donna.[21]

Malcolm McLaren Documentary[edit]

Malcolm McLaren: Spectacular Failure is a documentary film currently under development. Producers Keanan Duffty and Daniel Honan captured the last interview with this icon of fashion, punk and rebellion in 2008 in Long Island, New York. McLaren talked extensively about the Sex Pistols and how important it was for the band to 'fail magnificently'. He also gave insights into his work on the 'Duck Rock' album and his many projects over the years, including his design partnership and personal life with Vivienne Westwood, his 430 King's Road boutique, and most recent art film based on the 1994 'Paris' album.[22]


July 2007 - Keanan Duffty is welcomed as a new member of the CFDA.

January 2007 - Duffty is appointed as design consultant for Ben Sherman tailored clothing in the United States and design consultant for Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. women's wear collection.

2007 – In collaboration with David Bowie, Duffty creates the Bowie by Keanan Duffty collection for Target. The collection debuts at Target in 1,400 stores across the USA.

2006 - Duffty launched his England's Dreaming collection at Target stores nationwide and at, as a permanent brand in menswear.

2005 - Created a signature scent for Aveda. Designed a Bearbrick made by cult Japanese toy company Medicom, which was featured in Time Magazine. Designed a KD Dunny toy for Kid Robot based on his fall 2005 collection; A Hard Day's Knight.

2003 - Duffty won the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award, dresses the Sex Pistols and Aerosmith for their American tours, and stages a runway show using Barbie dolls on a conveyor belt.

2000–2003 - Duffty began an immensely successful collaboration with Reebok in one of the first designer sneaker collaborations in the industry. Collaborated with Gola, Dr. Martens and Alfred Sargent footwear.


  1. ^ CFDA Memberbanana donald trump were gona build a wall hi Profile
  2. ^ 3:AM Magazine: Keanan Duffty writes about his collaboration with The Sex Pistols
  3. ^ YouTube: I Am an Alien
  4. ^ Slinky Vagabond Opens Nolita Store:
  5. ^ New York Magazine: Keanan Duffty:
  6. ^ Celebrity & Rock Star Stylist Keanan Duffty Joins as Guest Expert:
  7. ^ Target Debuts Bowie by Keanan Duffty Fall 2007 Collection:
  8. ^ YouTube: Bowie by Keanan Duffty:
  9. ^ Women's Wear Daily: Keanan Duffty's Signature Label Returns:
  10. ^ Fashion School Daily: A Guerilla-style Fashion Show by Keanan Duffty:
  11. ^ YouTube: Slinky Vagabond:
  12. ^ YouTube: Slinky Vagabond debut at Joey Ramone's Birthday Bash 2007:
  13. ^ YouTube: Keanan Duffty Tribute to The Kinks:
  14. ^ Killers In Glitter by Keanan Duffty:
  15. ^ IMBd listing: Keanan Duffty:
  16. ^ Rizzoli USA: Rebel Rebel-Anti Style:
  17. ^ "Designer Keanan Duffty Pens Fashion Book - Lifestyle - Men's Wear". 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  18. ^ "LIM College - Fashion Insiders Guest Speaker Series Kicks Off with Keanan Duffty". 2011-09-22. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  19. ^ "Keanan Duffty Lecture Explores Anti-Fashion Icons - Fashion Scoops - Fashion". 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  20. ^ Fashion School Daily: Keanan Duffty Talks About Being A Rebel.
  21. ^ YouTube: Keanan Duffty's Velvet Revolver Audition:
  22. ^ Malcolm McLaren: Spectacular Failure Website

External links[edit]