ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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The new Varvatos store will feature photographs of famous musicians by Vineyarder Peter Simon. "It's always important to understand the guy we're dressing in a particular city. The Boston guy has classic taste but is very stylish."—JOHN VARVATOS particular city. The Boston guy has classic taste but is very stylish, with a little Ivy League in the base," Varvatos says. "There's also a sense of freedom that I see in the community that's reflected in the way guys dress—not necessarily rooted in an age group; it's more of a mentality." His fall collection, which opens the store, fits nicely within those ideas: Varvatos put together a seemingly effortless blend of tailored pieces that feel polished without veering into strict or fussy. Meanwhile, the accent on layers and textures—think touches of velvets and tweeds—offers hints of a British dandy, which at its heart calls out to the rockchic aesthetic that has always been a part of the Varvatos DNA. This is a collection that evokes David Bowie or The Beatles circa Abbey Road, though there are also pieces that would easily find a home in the closets of his favorite Boston bands: "Aerosmith, the biggest Boston band of all time," he says with a smile before also name-checking The Cars, J. Geils Band, and Warren and Dan Zanes of the Del Fuegos as favorites. Varvatos is likewise a favorite among musicians—Steven Tyler and Joe Perry played last year at a Los Angeles fundraiser he hosts yearly—and a growing roster of A-listers star in his ad campaigns: Jimmy Page and Gary Clark Jr. were front and center in his Spring 2013 ads, while Varvatos's fall campaign offers up some beautifully rich black-and-white photography featuring Willie Nelson and two of his sons, Micah and Lukas. Varvatos is a true fan of iconic rock photography and, as in his other stores, you'll see it in his Copley Place location with the Rock Paper Photo limited-edition shots he sells alongside his clothes, as well as curated exhibitions that often feature local artists. He'll kick off the latter with a December show featuring the photography of Martha's Vineyard–based Peter Simon (brother of Carly Simon), who is celebrating 50 years of his work. "He's taken some pretty incredible photos of musicians throughout his career, so this really was a perfect fit for us," Varvatos says. Varvatos knows that guys buying great pieces—the perfect leather jacket, a great vest, or a button-down shirt— likely will comprise a significant percentage of the store's business. But you sense his palpable excitement in the idea that, as a city of distinct seasons, Boston just might get swept up in all those luxe layers as he puts them together for fall. "When you're a designer you create these looks that are all about great layers, and then you find yourself with a lot of stores in warm-weather cities, where people don't necessarily embrace the whole look you've put together because it isn't practical for them," he says. "But one of the fun things about being in fashion is to create this aura, this bit of fantasy, through this idea of layered dressing, fabrics with texture and character mixed with great coats and leathers. It's exciting when the customer looks at it as his reality." The Copley Place store ultimately will feel "a little more chic, a little more elegant, a little more dressed-up in its approach," than some of his edgier locations in other cities, Varvatos says, and that's simply another nod to his thoughts on who his Boston consumer will be. "Fashion kind of comes and goes, but good style is always right, and that's how I look at Boston." Copley Place, 617-236-8650; BC RIGHT: The John Varvatos Fall 2013 collection evokes David Bowie and The Beatles. LEFT: Bleecker side-zip boot ($598). BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 092-093_BC_SS_StyleSetter_Fall13.indd 93 93 8/2/13 5:37 PM

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