John Varvatos (company)

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John Varvatos
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John Varvatos is an American international luxury men’s lifestyle brand founded by John Varvatos, which designs, manufactures, and retails high-end fashion.[1][2] Varvatos has been recognized as "Menswear Designer of the Year" three times by the CFDA and named GQ’s "Designer of the Year" in 2007.[1][3][4] The collection is distributed in 10 freestanding John Varvatos boutiques across the US, as well as in high-end department stores throughout the world.[1][5] Headquarters are located in New York City.[6]


The interior of the John Varvatos store in Detroit

John Varvatos founded the company in late 1999.[1][4] Varvatos had previously been the head of menswear design at Calvin Klein as well as the head of menswear design for all Polo Ralph Lauren brands and was responsible for the creation of the Polo Jeans Company.[1][2][4]

The debut clothing line was launched in 2000, a “black-less collection” in which Varvatos went against the popular fashion trends of the time.[1][2][7] The success of this line would garner Varvatos the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Newcomer Award for Menswear.[3][8]

This success was followed shortly after by the company’s first freestanding boutique, located in the SoHo neighborhood for New York City, which opened in October 2000. Today the brand has 10 independent retail locations across the United States and does over $140 million in sales per year.[4][7]

After the brand generated double-digit revenue growth in 2010 and 2011, Lyndon Lea's Lion Capital purchased a majority stake in the company in March 2012, with Varvatos remaining as chairman and chief creative officer.[9][10][11]

Rock 'n' roll influence[edit]

Vinyl records for sale at the Detroit John Varvatos store

Varvatos cites rock 'n' roll as the catalyst for his fashion interests and uses rock aesthetics as the foundation of the brand's designs.[1][2][5] The company's ad campaigns often feature musicians including Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Velvet Revolver, Chris Cornell, Dave Matthews, The Roots and Green Day.[1] Music is also central to the brand’s philanthropic efforts, including the Save the Music Foundation[4][5] and the annual Stuart House benefit.[12]

In April 2008 John Varvatos opened at 315 Bowery, formerly the rock ‘n’ roll landmark club CBGB.[1][4] Here Varvatos attempted to preserve the original allure of the landmark, displaying his clothes among vintage books, high-end stereo equipment and a preserved wall of the original club, including band fliers.[3] The opening was celebrated with a benefit party for VH1's Save the Music, with guests performances by Slash from Guns N' Roses, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction and Wayne Kramer of the MC5.[13] Today, the location hosts free monthly concerts with a variety of up and coming, as well as established, music acts.[5][14]

In 2009 Varvatos was recruited to host a monthly radio show, New York Nights…Direct from the Bowery,[15] on SIRIUS XM’s The Spectrum channel.[4][5] The show includes songs and interviews from various artists who have influenced Varvatos throughout his career in fashion.[16]

In July 2014 it was announced that Ringo Starr would be modelling for the fall/winter advertising campaign, and that an associated charitable initiative would benefit The Ringo Starr Peace and Love Fund, in aid of the David Lynch Foundation. Commenting, Varvatos said, "Both inner peace and global peace are very important topics to me".[17][18][19]


John Varvatos collection[edit]

The main collection of the brand Varvatos is high end male clothing with rock 'n' roll flares. The line aims to create a masculine look, with a subtle edginess for the male demographic.[1][3] The style aims to combine great fabrics, design and details, without being over-the-top.[3][4][7]

In 2004 John Varvatos released his first male fragrance line under the main collection and later expanded to include their first women's fragrance in 2008.[8]

The main collection was expanded over the years and today includes jewelry, watches, eyewear, gloves, scarves, and other accessories.[1][2][4]

John Varvatos Star USA Luxe[edit]

In February 2006 John Vavatos launched "John Varvatos Star USA Luxe" an in-house label aimed at a younger demographic and lower price point than the main collection.[7] The line aims to be more deconstructed, casual, and youthful.[7]

Converse by John Varvatos[edit]

In September 2001 John Varvatos partnered with the US shoe giant Converse to create Converse by John Varvatos,[3]

In 2004 Varvatos designed the laceless Converse Chuck Taylor slip-on. The design was widely adopted and imitated amongst competitors.[3][4]

By March 2006 Converse by John Vavatos premiered the first ready-to-wear clothing line in Converse's 100-year history.[3] A vintage-inspired line was also designed for a younger demographic, while respecting the heritage of the Converse brand.[7]

Other collaborations[edit]

In 2012, John Varvatos partnered with Chrysler to design two special edition Chrysler 300C.[14][20] Varvatos was recruited to create two editions, the "Limited Edition" and the "Luxury Edition", both of which feature the brand's design and name both inside and out.[14][20]

Later in 2012, Varvatos became the first ever fashion brand to partner with Patrón Spirits for a limited edition bottle stopper.[21] Keeping with the rock 'n' roll influences, the stopper was designed in the shape of a guitar head, complete with tuning keys.

Awards and distinctions[edit]

John Varvatos first received accolades from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 2000 when he was honored with the Perry Ellis Newcomer's Award for Menswear.[16] The following year he won the 2001 CFDA's Designer of the Year award.[1][16]

In 2005 Varvatos received the CFDA's 2005 Menswear Designer of the Year award. He competed for the top honor along with Ralph Lauren and John Bartlett for his third CFDA win.[1][16]

In 2007 GQ's named Varvatos "Designer of the Year" in their 12th Annual "Men of the Year" issue.[3][22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Finn, Robin (April 25, 2008). "A Man of High Style and Punk Tastes". The New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lopez, Molly (March 5, 2007). "Men's Designer John Varvatos". People.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Doonan, Simon (December 2007). "Breakout of the Year + Designer of the Year". GQ.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Tschorn, Adam (January 11, 2009). "John Varvatos hopes to go global with rock-flavored menswear line". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b c d e Rooney, Jennifer (July 12, 2012). "For A Song: Designer John Varvatos On How He Gets All Those Rock Stars In His Ads". Forbes.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e f Bhola, Sachin. "John Varvatos Interview". Ask Men.
  8. ^ a b "John Varvatos". New York Magazine.
  9. ^ Jacobo, Julia (March 14, 2012). "Lion Capital Purchases Major Stake In John Varvatos Enterprises". Haute Living.
  10. ^ Covert, James (March 9, 2012). "Lion takes a huge bite of Varvatos grunge-wear". New York Post.
  11. ^ Lambert, Sylvia (March 12, 2012). "MENSWEAR LABEL JOHN VARVATOS CHANGES OWNER, CHANGES COURSE". Hoovers.
  12. ^ "Stuart House Charity Benefit". Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  13. ^ Sisario, Ben (April 19, 2008). "This Ain't No Nightclub (at Least Not Anymore)". The New York Times.
  14. ^ a b c Berk, Brett (September 19, 2012). "Q&A: Designer John Varvatos on Rock 'n' Roll, Detroit-Area Bowling Alleys, and His New Collaboration with Chrysler". Vanity Fair.
  15. ^ "John Varvatos to Host 'New York Nights…Direct from the Bowery' on Sirius XM". Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  16. ^ a b c d "Fashion Show Mentors- John Varvatos". NBC.
  17. ^ Faure, Tiffany. "Make Ringo Starr's Birthday Wish Come True—Post a Peace Sign Selfie For a Good Cause!". Retrieved 1 August 2014. This charity fund, which is in support of the David Lynch Foundation, teaches Transcendental Meditation and other stress-reducing techniques to at-risk populations suffering from chronic stress and stress-related disorders that fuel crime, violence and costly medical expenditures.
  18. ^ Tran, Khanh T. L. "John Varvatos Throws Ringo Starr a Birthday Bash". WWD. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Show Us Your Peace Sign". John Varvatos. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  20. ^ a b Stoklosa, Alexander (September 2012). "2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition / Luxury Edition". Car and Driver.
  21. ^ Kamm, Jennifer (December 7, 2012). "Patrón Spirits Collaborates with Fashion Icon John Varvatos to Create Limited-Edition Bottle Stopper". Haute Living.
  22. ^ Foxley, David. "GQ Crowns 'Men of the Year'!". New York Observer.

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