Moods of Norway, the irreverent European fashion brand, has hired Keanan Duffty as a design consultant as it continues to expand in the U.S. market through its own stores and wholesale operation.
This story first appeared in the October 4, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
George Santacroce, chief executive officer for the U.S. market, said Duffty’s background was key to the hire.
Born in the U.K. but based in San Francisco, Duffty studied fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London and is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 1999, he established his fashion label, which drew inspiration from youth culture, music and British iconography. In 2006, he created the England’s Dreaming by Keanan Duffty line for Target, and in 2007 also designed a limited-edition men’s collection for Target inspired by David Bowie. He coauthored the book “Rebel Rebel Anti-Style,” which was published by Rizzoli in 2009, and is currently coproducing the documentary film “Malcolm McLaren: Spectacular Failure,” slated for release next year. Most recently, he joined the Academy of Art University in San Francisco as senior director of fashion merchandising.
“As we expand into new markets, we were discussing how we can ensure we have the right design input and decided to bring Keanan on board to consult with the design team,” Santacroce said. While the label has grown to a sales volume of $60 million, the executive team believes it needed some help with fit, fabric selection and trend analysis.
“My role is to lead the design work across all our product categories, and I will have a key role in translating the founders’ creative ideas into a consistent look across all categories and into a collection that works equally well in the home market, in the U.S. and other overseas-international markets, starting with the spring-summer ’14 collection,” Duffty said. He said he will continue to be based in the U.S., but expects to be in Norway every six weeks.
Moods of Norway opened its second U.S. store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood on Fashion’s Night Out last month. It entered the U.S. retail market with a store on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. It operates 15 stores around the world and added women’s wear three years ago, which currently accounts for around one-third of the company’s volume. Beyond the U.S., the plan is to expand internationally with a new distributorship agreement in Germany and exploration of the U.K. and French markets.