Gay menswear designer Jim Duran returns with a splash for Collection 2.0


SPRING HAS SPRUNG | Jim Duran’s new collection for 2014 features floral patterns with a masculine, cutting-edge style.

Life+Style Editor

When Jim Duran launched his inaugural menswear label, BLKLN (Black Line), last fall, the pallette of his collection truly reflected its name: Blacks, whites, silvers and shades of gray in fashion-forward cuts.

Screen shot 2013-09-05 at 10.25.05 AM“That was a more stoic collection,” Duran says of the industrial, hipster look. It was also designed for the winter.

What a difference a season makes. Duran is back with his second edition of BLKLN, and the first thing you notice is, he’s not in Kansas anymore: Like Dorothy’s arrival in Oz, BLKLN 2.0 abounds in color. But it’s still the same line.

“I was inspired by the textiles,” Duran says of the floral fabrics that form the backbone of this spring-summer collection, which he will debut at the A Loft Hotel on Sept. 12. And the textiles are exploding with color.

But, Duran insists, it’s still the same aesthetic: Interesting cuts, tailored shirts, slim, flattering lines — the kind Duran thinks can make fashionable Dallas guys (and gays) cutting-edge.

“Men want fabrics to breathe,” he says, explaining the predominance of linens, cotton jersey and cotton-silk in this collection. And the prints draw you in with their vibrancy — not so much that it seems fey or feminine, though.

“These prints are more illustrative, more impressionistic, which makes it more masculine,” says Christopher W. Cordell, BLKLN’s director of operations. There are scooped necks and arched, bare midriffs on some of the shirts, while the slacks convey a dressed-down coastal-city elegance.

In total, Duran hopes to feature “15 to 20 looks” at the runway show. And though he hasn’t slept much gearing up to the event, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The first collection was a big feat for me,” Duran says. “Returning with another collection and turning it into a business” points to something more: a desire for longevity.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 6, 2013.