David Duralde: Dashing and Debonair

As he travels the world, David Duralde, Chief Creative Officer for Kenmark Optical, cuts a dashing and debonair figure in his sleek wardrobe. In an exclusive interview with Eyestylist, Duralde shares his thoughts on personal style.

How would you describe your personal style? “My personal style is edgy + classic. I like mixing metaphors and twisting convention so the unfamiliar becomes familiar. I’m intrigued by classic elegance with an edgy twist – it’s like a whisper in an echo chamber. You don’t have to be loud if it’s intentional. My mindset is to always question the status quo and wonder if something can be more beautiful and efficient. This is the curse and obsession that drives creativity.”

“Three-quarters of my closet is black…”David Duralde

What men’s designer do you find most influential?  “I really admire creative minds like Virgil Abloh, Riccardo Tisci, Raf Simmons and Allessandro Michele, who had to shake up the vocabulary for global men’s fashion collections and offer something truly new in these established brands for a younger generation. It’s quite an undertaking and I’m sure engenders some real nail-biting moments. Someone had to redefine what luxury looks like in menswear, as it all was looking very stale. The only differences in men’s brands were very, very subtle cuts and applications of fabrics. Now, when you go shopping for menswear, there’s a real energy in the category.”

“I’m intrigued by classic elegance with an edgy twist”

Do you have a favourite colour and is there an anecdote or story behind that? “Three-quarters of my closet is black for obvious reasons. I travel a ton and black is very practical and timeless. A black Prada lace up I bought in 1992 at Maxfields in LA still looks good after all these years. Every season there is a new colour deemed the new black, but for me, Black is always the new Black. If Black went away, green would be next. The colour has so many moods. It can be murky, slimy, fresh, primary and always looks new when it’s in a new shade or hue.”

What is your favourite accessory? – apart from eyewear of course! “Cars. So many men’s accessories are imagined and created to pair a great car. That’s why I think of great car design at the top of the food chain for other items such as watches, rings, wallets, bags, etc.”

“There is real energy in the menswear category”

Do you enjoy shopping for clothes? Do you have a favourite store – curiosity or professional instinct that draws you there? “I love shopping at Barney’s New York, Traffic LA, Forty Five Ten in Dallas. It’s also a lot of fun to spend time in Gucci stores. The stores have the same excitement, buzz and energy you first saw at Apple Stores when they arrived on the retail landscape. This reminds me that people will always want to buy something if the store is unique and compelling.”

Classic, casual and comfortable

Your work demands you travel frequently. Is there a city abroad where you like to shop, explore and cultivate new ideas? “I love to shop and people watch in Milan. People are never afraid of fashion in this town. It’s like oxygen for a designer. Then shopping in Paris is next on the list, because it’s an equal reminder that one should work to live and not live to work. There is a different sensibility in these towns. There is a pursuit for the aesthetic and a respect for intelligent, creative design. These cultures understand throughout history the importance and work behind making things that are great – from food, to experiences, to art, architecture and everything in-between.” www.kenmarkeyewear.com JG