How Do You Solve a Problem Like Duckie Brown?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Duckie Brown?

For the small but devoted band of Duckie Brown fans (I count myself among them), the last few years have been fallow ones. It has been mostly out of stores, even those, like Barneys New York, that had been its staunchest supporters. Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, the Duckies of Duckie, have not staged a runway show since 2016.

These are challenging times for the fashion business in general, and especially for those fashion businesses that are small and independent, not flush with investment capital or the leverage of a luxury group. And Mr. Cox and Mr. Silver’s designs have never been accused of playing it safe.

They did not want for critical raves, nominations for fashion’s top awards (they were in the running for the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Men’s Wear Designer of the Year award most recently in 2013) or creative energy. But even a pair of the most talented men’s designers in New York had to reassess.

“After 17 years, we were struggling to continue to make a viable situation,” Mr. Silver said. “So we took a pause to rethink our business. We love what we do, we just have to think about it in a different way. We couldn’t just keep trying to hang on, trying to find more retailers, doing a show. If you keep doing something the same way hoping for a different outcome, isn’t that the definition of insanity?”

They have returned with Duckie Brown – the Shop, which will be the only place to buy their collection. “No one can sell Duckie Brown better than us,” Mr. Silver said.

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