DDUGOFF clothes are architecturally sound. What does that mean? Allow me to expalin further. Have you ever walked into one of your favorite menswear stores and come across an absolutely killer piece that just doesn’t f**king fit? Sometimes it could be an annoying arm hole situation, or a weird slouch of the trouser or even a peculiar collar construction. It may have looked dope on the hanger, but that’s just as long as the fantasy lasted. Chances are you won’t have that issue with DDUGOFF. Daniel DuGoff earned his bones as a technical designer at Marc by Marc Jacobs working with factories, designing samples and making sure the rudiments of proper fit were properly adhered to. With his own line DDUGOFF, he adds this technical prowess to a progressive array of men’s clothes that are fashion-forward, never boring and full of covetable individual pieces. He’s really starting to make a buzz in menswear circles, and we had to visit his studio and explore further. See Q&A below:
“I want to make your favorite clothes …”
When did your brand launch and how would you describe the clothes you make?
I launched DDUGOFF for Fall/Winter 2014. My intention with DDUGOFF is to create a line of easy-to-wear clothes – the kind of pieces you want to wear every day, multiple days in a row. I want these clothes to feel so effortless that you want to keep wearing them all the time – for them to go in the pile of go-tos on that chair in the corner of your bedroom each night, and pulled right back on the next morning.
What was your background in design before launching the brand?
Before launching DDUGOFF, I was working at Marc by Marc Jacobs, where I was a technical designer for the men’s line. I did fittings and worked with factories to develop samples and improve the products before they went into production. Before that, I worked for Patrik Ervell.
When I graduated from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, I realized that the parts of design that I was most interested in had to do with human-scale interactions. I wanted to work at that scale, and sent notes to a couple of fashion designers as well as some furniture designers and 3D fabrication studios. I was offered an internship with Patrik Ervell, and that was my first introduction to working in menswear.
How would you describe the DDUGOFF man?
It’s me, it’s my friends – the person I’m designing for wants to wear clothes that do two things at once: he wants his clothes to feel effortless and he wants them to feel special. Often when something feels special it is because it is delicate, or has a loud detail, or is for a certain occasion. To make something that feels natural every time he puts it on, but still has that feeling of being carefully considered and constructed – that’s what I’m after.
Where do you source the fabrics you use in your collections – and where are the clothes made?
The fabrics come from all over – wool suiting and yarns from Italy, oxford shirting from Portugal, cottons and technical nylons from Japan. Most of the clothes are made in New York City. I do some production in New Jersey and California as well. Being able to drop in on a factory and see the progress that is being made is important to me because problems come up, and I like that I can solve it the same day when I’m working with a factory in New York.
What’s your main source of inspiration when you are in the concept and design phase for your collections?
The fabrics really tell the story. I start the season by looking for materials and then edit down until it all makes sense together. The color story usually comes from reference images that I cull from the internet, from books, from galleries, from photos I’ve taken on my phone, from the things my friends are liking on Instagram… Each season I organize all of these pictures that I collected into groups and themes emerge. I’m looking at this shape a lot, or this color keeps popping up. It’s a process that’s half completely random and half super methodical.
Is there any celeb or other known personality (past or present) that you would most like to dress in DDUGOFF clothes?
Sure, there are celebrities that it would be exciting to see wearing DDUGOFF, but it’s more exciting to see people wearing the clothes in real life. A few weeks ago a friend texted me a picture of someone wearing one of my jackets at a museum – that was a thrill.
Where do you see the brand five years from now and what is the ultimate vision for the brand?
My goal for the brand is to continue developing high-quality products. I want to make your favorite clothes. Any growth (big or small) is secondary to the clothes being thoroughly thought out, to them being thoughtful. It’s evident I’m a designer first and a business person second, and that’s something I struggle with – but this isn’t worth doing if I can’t be proud of each product I include in the collection.
If you weren’t a clothing designer, what other profession would you most like to be a part of?
I studied architecture, but I’m not so interested in the professional practice of architecture. I’d love to be a professional architecture student, maybe teach a design studio.
Lastly, who are your stockists and where are all the places buyers can find DDUGOFF?
In NYC, Opening Ceremony, Swords-Smith and Goose Barnacle. On the West Coast, 12345 in LA, and The Celect in Costa Mesa. In Vancouver, at Neighbour and online at East Dane & Spring.
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