How a Collaboration With Playboy Sparked Duke + Dexter’s Foray Into Women’s

·2 min read

Following the success of their first collaboration last year, Duke + Dexter has teamed up again with Playboy for a second collection — this time with the addition of women’s sizes.

According to Duke + Dexter founder and CEO, Archie Hewlett, the brand has considered expanding into women’s for the last three years but was cautious of the move due to the pandemic and vast competition in the space.

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But after Miley Cyrus and Rihanna wore custom pairs of last year’s Playboy collab, and an increase in smaller size requests, Hewlett decided to take the leap.

“We’ve built up enough of female customer base and fan base that it made sense,” he said. “The plan is to follow this collection with a mainline of women’s styles. But it will be a very specific focus for women’s, as opposed to a collection of every single style we are currently making for men.”

Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter
Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

As for the new Playboy collection, Hewlett said that it’s inspired by “the golden age of jet set glamour” and the life on board “one of the most iconic private jets to ever fly” — Playboy’s “Big Bunny.”

Referencing years of ’90s airport fits, the limited-edition collection features five penny loafers, printed with unmistakable designs inspired by vintage Playboy covers. Duke + Dexter will produce just 250 pairs of each style, which will be available in both men’s and women’s sizes.

There’s also a series of travel-inspired accessories, from luggage tags to washbags and eye masks, as well as a printed silk robe, made by London tailor and friend of the brand, Joseph Darcy.

Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter
Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

“We’ve created something that’s as elegant as it is relevant, all inspired by an era that evokes so much glamour, elegance, excitement — it’s all there in the shoes and the accessories,” Hewlett added. “There’s a genuine appeal to life in the sky. We all daydream about getting away and escaping, and this collab feels like a real interpretation of that.”

This news comes months after the London-based footwear brand launched a new customization program. Called “1OF1,” the program offers customers the chance to treat any pair of Duke + Dexter’s as a blank canvas.

New orders take just a few weeks to be delivered, and the brand’s in-house artist and head of bespoke, Jessica Pickard, handles all aspects of the 1OF1 process. From pieces of art covering the entire shoe, to simple initialing to the heel, every alteration goes through a final sealing process to make sure they stay water and scratch resistant.

Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter
Credit: Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

Courtesy of Duke + Dexter

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