The one factor you may say about New York-based menswear designer John Varvatos is that he’s as critical about music and other people utilizing their voices on this heated political local weather as he’s about making males’s garments.
I first met Varvatos over a fall 2009 breakfast on the patio of the 4 Seasons lodge in Austin, Texas, america the place I used to be a trend columnist/stylist.
Varvatos was visiting the Texas capital metropolis to attend his first Austin Metropolis Limits Music Competition. He talked about being a brand new dad – and he thanked me for carrying my black Varvatos Converse sneakers.
His model has at all times included rock ‘n’ roll-spirited leather-based jackets, robust suiting and daring and barely rebellious-looking footwear that would get a man head turns, however not in an obnoxious look-at-me form of method.
I just lately caught up with Varvatos once more, this time in Orange County.
The reshowing of his fall/winter 2017 presentation; a high-energy efficiency by Classic Hassle, the band showing within the spring/summer time 2018 Varvatos marketing campaign; and an after-party have been a part of South Coast Plaza’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.
Varvatos sat down backstage earlier than the present, as dressers and hair and make-up groups have been getting fashions prepared for showtime.
Whereas he’s a New Yorker at coronary heart, the 63-year-old designer has robust Southern California ties. A brand new Westfield Century Metropolis retailer in Los Angeles will quickly open, becoming a member of his current stand-alone shops in West Hollywood, Malibu, Costa Mesa and San Diego.
The designer additionally raises cash for Stuart Home, a program of the Rape Remedy Heart at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Heart. (“I’ve extra pals in L.A. than New York,” says Varvatos, a fan of Amoeba Music in Hollywood. “My daughter likes it out right here.”)
Since I final noticed him, Varvatos has taken a deeper dive into the music scene. He introduced earlier this fall that he had teamed up with Scott Borchetta, founder and chief government of Nashville-based Massive Machine Data (Taylor Swift’s report label), on his current John Varvatos Data.
“I don’t need it to be something about my ego,” Varvatos mentioned, including that he desires his label’s focus to be launching new artists and expertise. (His label just lately signed Los Angeles rock band Badflower.) “I actually need it to be concerning the music.”
So precisely whom was he listening to? “Tom Petty – No. 1. No. 2 is Tom Petty and No. three is Tom Petty for the time being,” he says, scrolling via his cellphone.
There was additionally Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Actual – Willie Nelson’s son’s band (“He has a brand new album out that’s so good, and it crosses so many genres”) – in addition to music by jazz trio Saft, Swallow and Previte that includes Iggy Pop and the most recent launch from rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who’s within the fall 2017 Varvatos marketing campaign.
It was round 2005 that he began utilizing artists in his campaigns, together with the Roots, Alice Cooper and Dave Matthews have starred in.
“I noticed early on music artists have been buying with us and contacting us about garments and picture shoots and excursions,” Varvatos says.
“And I believed, ‘That’s fairly wonderful.’ Then you definitely get individuals who have been icons whenever you have been rising up who wish to put on your garments or are already shopping for your garments someplace. And also you’re like, ‘Oh my god, Jimmy Web page is shopping for my garments.’ Or Alice Cooper or Iggy Pop or whoever it was on the time.”
In case you weren’t at New York Style Week or South Coast Plaza, Varvatos’ fall/winter 2017 Wild At Coronary heart assortment, in accordance with present notes, was designed to present “the thought of nonchalant cool with an uncompromising devotion to magnificence and boldness.”
As anticipated, what got here alongside the U-shaped runway in Costa Mesa was signature Varvatos (tailor-made fits, leather-based and stripped outerwear, animal prints and loads of dandy flare), and is accessible on-line and in shops.
Months after its debut, Varvatos says the gathering was put collectively through the run as much as the 2016 American presidential election.
“Presently on the planet, we want individuals who have voices,” he says.
“We want those that aren’t meek and sit again, however they wish to create change on the market. They don’t wish to put up with the that’s happening. Even within the music business, I imagine it’s time for these rebels once more – those which have a voice that isn’t only a enjoyable pop music.” – Los Angeles Occasions/Tribune Information Service