Keanan Duffty

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Keanan Duffty with punk impresario Malcolm McLaren.
Keanan Duffty with punk impresario Malcolm McLaren.
Keanan Duffty
Born (1964-04-28) April 28, 1964 (age 51)
Occupation Fashion designer
Spouse(s) Nancy Garcia
Labels Slinky Vagabond, Keanan Duffty

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 first class degree.[1] He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Early years[edit]

Duffty has always believed that music and fashion go hand in hand. He was a founding member of the British Punk band Sordid Details along with Martin Beard (Drums), Jonathan Cameron (vocals) and Dave Huzzard (Bass). Formed in 1978 (when Keanan was 14 years old), Sordid Details built a strong reputation in the North of England and were heavily 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 good reviews in the 'Sounds' music paper.[citation needed] Wonder Stories played a number of gigs during 1980 and 1981, but by 1982 Duffty had chosen to study fashion design at St Martin's School Of Art in London. Keanan also worked at PX, the signature New Romantic boutique in London and former haunt of Visage vocalist Steve Strange.

By 1983, Duffty was discovered by an experienced music business manager, Falcon Stuart, former manager of Adam and the Ants, X Ray Spex and Classix Nouveau. Stuart encouraged 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). Duffty also recorded a 4 song session at Maida Vale Studios for BBC Radio 1 DJ Janice Long. "Water Sport" received great reviews, including record of the week in Smash Hits, good reviews in the NME and became an underground club hit in the UK. Duffty played a number of shows in London including the ID Magazine Fifth anniversary party at the ICA. Both his music and fashion designs received positive reviews in the British music and style press.

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 eponymous fashion label 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 carry the collection including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Lounge in New York, Maxfield, Theodore, H Lorenzo and Fred Segal in LA, Lane Crawford and Joyce in Hong Kong, Harvey Nichols in London, and Beams and Journal Standard in Japan.

Keanan Duffty's clothes have 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] He once designed a space suit for Martha Stewart.

In 2007, Duffty drew inspiration from rock legend David Bowie to create a limited-edition men's collection for Target stores nationwide.[7][8]

Duffty's clothes have been featured on prominent 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, reentering the market with a contemporary men's collection for spring. The collection will launch 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 around Lincoln Center with protest signs displaying lyrics from 80's pop songs by Kraftwerk and Adam Ant.[10]


Keanan Duffty is lead singer in the band Slinky Vagabond, alongside Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols, Clem Burke of Blondie, and Earl Slick (David Bowie's guitarist).[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. The album is a compilation of Duffty's music, from his 1985 Water Sport release to his work with Slinky Vagabond in 2007. Many of the 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's television credits include serving as host since 2008 on Emmy award winning Plum TV’s show 'The Juice', where he has interviewed many cultural icons - from Gore Vidal to 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, the 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 '05 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 Member 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. 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]