Gender-queering, contrary to some current thinking, is not a Gen Z phenomenon. On the fashion front, Duckie Brown’s Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have been at it for almost 20 years. “We say we make women’s clothes for men,” Silver explained on a Zoom call. The non-binaryness of the Duckies’ collections has become only more apparent since they left the runway and the wholesale system five years ago. Selling their collections by private appointment from their West Village studio has allowed them to indulge not just their own most irreverent, category-blurring impulses, but those of their clients, as well.
Case in point this season is a sculptural top whose couturish roundness is made possible by a stiff fabric, papirok, more often used in bag construction. Silver described the shirt’s vibe as “a cross between a robot and Dua Lipa.” Or consider an organza top, a glorified t-shirt really, that they call the bridal chemise. “It’s sort of a man’s version of the negligee you wear on your wedding night that Dua Lipa and I could both wear,’ Cox elaborated. No wonder their customers keep coming back for private appointments—the Duckies give good chat.
Boiling it down, Cox described the new collection as an assortment of t-shirts and shorts for the time of year when he wants to wear as little as possible, on Mykonos preferably. But of course these basics are anything but conventional; the tops are mostly sheer and the bottoms are exceedingly skimpy. Cox likes a short that’s somewhere between a 1980s runner’s style and a silk tap pant. You’ve heard of side-boob; well, may we introduce you to side-cheek? As a culture, we are all too familiar with naked female bodies, but this kind of exposure on a male feels new, almost taboo. Silver, who posed for the photos in the lookbook, wondered aloud, “can I get my bum in Vogue?”
There are other pieces here, including a ballgown sweatshirt with pleats at the neckline and super high-waisted pants with the pleats coming out of the pockets not the waistband, that are less provocative, but could never be mistaken for conservative—or conventional.