Jose Duran is already carving out a spot for himself in fashion metropoles New York and Paris. After getting his start with Diane von Furstenberg, Duran debuted his line with a small presentation of womenswear at Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea. It didn’t take longer before he started thinking about menswear as well—and the rest is now history in the making.
“Every time I design for men, it’s like making the clothes that I will be wearing next season. It’s like designing for me and my friends,” he explains. The masculine looks were inspired by Martin Margiela, the late Alexander McQueen as well as his neighbors in Paris. “My target markets for menswear are the fashion kids and the art boys with a great sense of style.”
Although Duran grew up in a small Dominican Republic town, he credits his parents and aunts for his appreciation of visual cues. “My father works as a mechanic at the family garage and my mother is a hair stylist. You can see my fathers influence on the shapes of my clothes,” he admits. Said shapes include sculptural touches (capped shoulder blazers), exaggerated features (extra wide harem pants) and body-hugging sheers as well as draped tunics with exposed sides, cropped baggy trousers that taper at the calf and tie-waist jackets that crossbreed slouchy bathrobe with a male version of the wrap dress. Duran’s looks evoke a little bit Grecian gladiator and a little bit Out of Africa desert heat. For spring/summer ’11, he mixed a pantsless look with a crop-top shirt (à la male hustler) with contrasting austere long monk-like black robes.
Whatever the look, it’s always rendered chic with a polished finish in solemn colors. Duran’s collections have been mostly designed in solemn black, white, nude and gray shades since 2008, but he reveals that “there is a surprise coming soon.”