Why the menswear industry loves durand

by Karen Alberg Grossman

“I’ve known Durand for many years —too many to count. He’s a class act, always was, always will be. I trust his taste level on just about any and everything. For years, no matter what position I was in, I’d call on Durand for tips, trends, advice and just to run ideas past him. He is so so smart! What’s also amazing (and obvious) about him is his personal sense of style: No one can quite pull it together like he can. But beyond his great taste and fashion insights, Durand is an incredibly astute businessman. He’s the whole package.” – KAREN MURRAY, SEQUENTIAL BRANDS GROUP

“Durand has been just a wonderful guy to work with over the years. His timely and sharp insight into fashion trends has helped us a great deal in terms of how we perceive the market. But more than anything else, he is open and congenial and interested in how we are doing, which means a lot. My guess is his schedule is pretty packed but Durand will always go out of his way to attend a brand event or collaboration launch, and I am sure it’s not easy to fit it all in. I remember once, he brought his dog (Daniel) to an event we had at the Florsheim store on Madison Avenue. He was clearly juggling a lot of things that night and needed to get his dog out but also wanted to make time for us. Daniel ended up being the hit of the party.” – JOHN FLORSHEIM, WEYCO GROUP

“I’ve enjoyed working and traveling with Durand for more than 20 years. He’s always been a humble and honest gentleman (and of course, a great dresser!). He has a keen understanding of how to bring fashion to the Macy’s consumer. I also admire his positive attitude and tremendous passion for both his job and the fashion community. He deserves to be recognized for always helping vendors by sharing his insights. It’s been a pleasure to see him grow in his professional career.” – OSCAR FELDENKREIS, PERRY ELLIS INTERNATIONAL

“Durand is a great choice for the MR award! From a Nautica perspective, Durand is one of the true fashion authorities in the market today. There’s always a level of excitement when he walks into the showroom. His enthusiasm and passion for product is ever present. Not only does he bring a discerning eye to product but also gives honest feedback without being overly negative or critical. He respects brands and their DNA and looks to incorporate that in the big-picture thinking he directs throughout Macy’s. Aside from that, he’s a genuinely nice guy who is highly respected and admired by so many!” – ELECTA VARNISH, NAUTICA

“Durand is multi-talented and a great partner to Peerless. Not only can he spot a trend but he can also translate it perfectly for the mainstream American market. We are very fortunate to work so closely with Durand as we always gain invaluable insights into consumer behavior from his experience and instincts. He is clearly a treasured asset to the entire men’s fashion industry.” – JOHN TIGHE, PEERLESS CLOTHING

“There are few people you meet in business that are as talented and professional as they are genuine and approachable. Durand Guion is one of these unique individuals, a creative genius. Durand’s relationship with Clarks spans back to his days at Macy’s West, where he was (and still is today) a huge advocate for our Bostonian and Clarks brands. He always provided great insight to trends, materials, patterns, color and seasonal direction to our Product Teams to help make us a better brand. One of the highlights of working with Durand is to see what interesting wardrobe he has pulled together to wear as he is always walking the ‘Red Carpet’ on Oscar night. I am very fortunate to call Durand a friend of Clarks, but more importantly, a personal friend.” – JIM CLARIN, CLARKS AMERICAS INC.

“Durand is a fashion executive for whom I have tremendous respect. He’s not only a true gentleman but also a dedicated professional. His pulse on fashion trends, both domestic and international, is always ‘spot on,’ and his keen understanding of what is commercially viable sets him apart from many in the fashion world. Working with Durand for so long, I have a strong appreciation for his many talents, which has led to a personal friendship that I cherish.” – RON RHEINGOLD, WEATHERPROOF VINTAGE

“To truly tell you my feeling about Durand I would need hours! Our relationship started nearly 20 years ago when he was with Macy’s West. It’s very rare to see someone who is fair, honest and has an incredible pulse on trends. I’ve always valued his opinions and insights when in the market. (On a side note, I would kill to have his wardrobe, shoes, and jewelry!) – RALPH BEYDA, 2(X)IST

“I’ve been working with Durand for at least 20 years, since back when he was at Macy’s West, and I can say without doubt that there are few others in our industry who have his passion, who live/eat/breathe fashion, who understand the consumer mindset, who are willing to do anything to get it right. I’ve had endless meaningful conversations with him over the years, and I can tell you: he grasps this business like no one else. People should listen to him! He has a wonderful point of view for every brand—not just what each does well but how each fits into the Macy’s landscape. And he understands retail as theater—how to create that wow factor. In every way, Durand is wonderful!” – JEFF TWEEDY, SEAN JOHN

Durand and his dog Daniel

“I’ve known Durand for seven or eight years, and we quickly developed a friendship, I think because we’re both so passionate about the industry (or maybe because he has a dog named Daniel…). I always look forward to having a drink or dinner with him because we have such great conversations on so many things. He truly loves his job! But what’s really wonderful about Durand is that he gives every vendor a chance: No matter how busy he is, he’ll shop a collection and recommend that his buyers shop it if it seems right for Macy’s. Most merchants these days buy only what’s been working for them; Durand is always seeking out what’s new.” – DANIEL BOUSKILA, BMG IMPORTS

“Durand is a tremendous business partner. He is open, forward-thinking and very consumer focused. He is always smiling and creates great energy for everyone around him.” – CHERYL ABEL-HODGES, CALVIN KLEIN

“Durand is one of fashion’s sherpas. He has exquisite taste, insatiable curiosity and a gift to edit the many and spotlight the important few. He mixes high and low with expert skill and can make any basic item work with a designer runway piece. With his well-honed business acumen, Durand drives millions of dollars in sales volume by influencing our brand partners and merchant teams to create, buy and sell the most important fashion trends. You have only to look at Durand to know a true original—so original that I’ve never seen him in the same outfit in the 20 plus years I’ve known him! Great choice MR magazine!” – JEFF GENNETTE, MACY’S

“Durand is a rare exception in this business. He is a visionary and creative executive who understands and emphasizes both the product and the numbers. Working with Durand is a gift because he deeply cares about all the product that sits on his floor. He understands and is able to predict the market in a way I’ve never seen. His feedback comes from a place of passion and knowledge that is unparalleled. What’s more, he keeps his pulse on all aspects of the men’s fashion market, unlike anyone I’ve ever met. He can speak on any trend, brand or look as it relates to any market or region around the world. Durand knows what’s hot in every sector of the market from tailoring to fast fashion to athleisure. Working with him is incredibly inspiring. Even though we are a smaller brand, Durand makes time to meet with us for lunch multiple times a year just to catch up on a personal level and to offer advice and guidance. His attitude as a leader is inspiring because there’s no detail too small for him! Even his personal style is inspiring!” – PHILIP BASSIS, REASON CLOTHING

“Durand is a rare talent. Not only can he predict a trend the first time he sees it but he is capable of single-handedly creating a new fashion look just by wearing it. You see him dressed up or down in a creative way and you wonder why you can’t put it together like that. Unfortunately, you can’t teach what he does: It’s a God-given talent. Durand also happens to be a wonderfully open and genuine person: When he believes in something, he will always fight for it, politics aside. Bottom line: he is the real deal.” – RONALD WURTZBURGER, PEERLESS CLOTHING

“Durand has an intangible gift in his ability to understand and forecast the market trends both in the U.S. and globally. He values the importance of relationships and is not only an industry leader and innovator but a true gentleman and a pleasure to work with.” – DAN ORWIG, ITOCHU APPAREL GROUP