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Sharp-Dressed Man: John Varvatos

Fashion’s Rock Star Talks Style and a Women’s Line

Photograph by Jerry Metellus

Music has always inspired John Varvatos. His ad campaigns for his main collection—shot by Grammy®-nominated music documentarian Danny Clinch—have featured such legendary icons as Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and Velvet Revolver. This year, the label built by the kid from Detroit celebrates its 10th anniversary. Vegas Player recently sat down with Varvatos inside his Forum Shops boutique.

Who is the John Varvatos man? He’s a guy who’s confident in himself, his life and the way he puts himself together. He’s not afraid to try different things. He’s not looking to wear a uniform. He wants to kind of mix things up and be eclectic with his wardrobe.

Your collections and ad campaigns walk hand-in-hand with rock ’n’ roll. How have you seamlessly blended the three-piece-suit-for-a-rocker look? I think there is a little rock ’n’ roll in every guy. We dress a lot of business people. There is a casual elegance about the brand, and I think that’s why we can take a three-piece suit and put it with a scarf or something else to bring another element to it.

What inspired your spring 2011 collection? It was about light layering. Whether it’s Las Vegas or New York or Milan, you come inside and it’s cool with air-conditioning, but then you go outside and it’s hot. You want to be able to add to and subtract from your wardrobe. That was the thought process that drove it into the color palettes which are soft blues and grays, white, black and little pops of yellow. We did fine-gauge lines, silken linens, silken cashmeres, and we spent a lot of time developing fabrics and yarns more than ever before because we really wanted to reinvent things  so that they were as light as a feather, ideal for layering.

Back in 2004, you had a unique line for women. Any plans to bring it back? We were quite young as a brand when we took on women’s [styles], and it turned out to be a bit of a monster for the organization. We decided, even though it had been doing well, to take it off the plate. We thought we would come back to it sooner, but we have been so busy with the men’s [line] growing so fast. It’s finally back on the plate for 2012.

You just celebrated your 10-year anniversary. What should we expect in the future? We really just want to keep doing what we’re doing and do it better. I don’t want to take our eye off of what made us successful. Now more than ever, it’s just about raising the bar.