East meets the East End at Takuya Duncan
Hamptons residents Aaron Duncan and Takuya Suzuki were having a tough time finding high end casual wear perfect for the beach that could also take them to the day and night beyond.
Worlds collided when the pair fused the casual, modern lifestyle of the Hamptons with top Japanese craftsmanship to create Takuya Duncan. The brand that’s dedicated to effortless essentials was built to offer a seamless blend of understated luxury and relaxed style. How did they do it? Hamptons Monthly found out when we chatted with co-founder Aaron Duncan about their summer 2016 collection.
The mantra of the brand is “East meets the East End”. What role did the two cultures play in developing the collection?
Takuya is from Japan and part of it was a trip [there] a little over a year ago. We kind of went there looking to just research the local craftsmanship that’s there and [met] with a lot of different factories in the countryside. Some of them are 400, 500-year-old companies. We just got sort of enamored by how passionate they are about what they do.
We came across this one company there open to working with us. They had never done Western products before. They were actually a Kimono factory. They make actual traditional kimonos. The indigo fabrics were so amazing, all of this handwork done to them.
Then living also in the Hamptons, which is much more laid back and casual, we sort of wanted something with a little more elevated quality. But, yet had that craftsmanship that went into the product and a story behind it. That’s where the East meets the East End.
It’s probably more for that passive sort of guy, looking for something on the weekend to throw on, that he can wear to run to the store or to go to the beach or even go out for dinner. But, it’s more of that casual, laid- back attitude. You picture the Hamptons even if you’re not in the Hamptons sort of thing.
Summer style is often marked with large prints and patterns or bold color choices. Was taking that approach ever considered or did you always want the line to be clean and neutral?
Clean and neutral, minimal, which is very a Japanese aesthetic.
It’s really soft, washes well, doesn’t lose its color, so, from that perspective, we wanted to stay neutral and, also, to be honest with you, because our items are for more of that casual theme. We didn’t want bright colors and more of that sort of vibe. We just wanted the theme to stay much more serene and much more calming, like you were on vacation.
One of the staples in the collection is the Montauk sweatpants, some guys might not be familiar with when or how to wear a casual cotton style like this in the summer. Have any tips?
I personally like to wear rolled them up actually, in the summertime. Wear flip- ops or sneakers without socks. Then, you can put on one of our t-shirts or even like a washed shirt, a denim chambray shirt. It’s a perfect, comfy, soft sort of casual look. It can take you all the way from the daytime into the evening.
I like to wear it with a jacket, sort of dress it up a little bit but still sort of be comfortable.
We’ll set the scene, you provide the wardrobe: picking up an early breakfast at Happy Bowels in Montauk then Ditch Plains for some sun before heading back to the city on the Jitney.
He’s wearing a striped Montauk pant. Our crew neck, sand colored t-shirt, because it kind of works nicely with the stripe. Then our black Maidstone hoodie.
What’s on the horizon for Takuya Duncan?
We’re looking to evolve the collection each season, add new unique styles, sourced from top manufacturers that you may not have heard of before. Our goal is to grow this into more of a higher-end proposition, slow fashion versus fast fashion.