To create his chic, edgy men’s clothing and accessories, John Varvatos draws inspiration from his hometown of Detroit and the charismatic rock musicians it has spawned — including Jack White, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. From slim-fitting contrast-collar oxford shirts and jeans to sharp suits and jackets, Varvatos’ designs feature expert cuts, skillfully distressed leather or unfinished edges, and dark color schemes that exude industrial mystique. In recent years Varvatos’ primary brand, the John Varvatos Collection, has skewed toward a more retro-vintage, refined look — think dandy velvet jackets, wool button-front vests, three-piece suits in subdued tones, chic Italian leather shoulder bags, and artsy eyewear. Accessories-wise, Varvatos has turned his attention to leather belts, rustic chukka boots, and flannel duffle bags that seem more “Bowery, 1930s” than “LA rock club, 2010s.” (Worry not, rough-and-tumble guitar dudes: both the Collection and Varvatos’ secondary RTW clothing line, John Varvatos Star USA, still feature plenty of cowhide, skull and bone motifs and black.) Since launching the John Varvatos Collection in 2000, Varvatos has earned three CFDA awards for his designs — but accolades from the likes of Slash and ex-Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant surely matter to him just as much as any fashion industry honor.
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