Vision Care Product News

APR 2016

Product information for optical people.

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Page 58 of 115

VISIONCAREPRODUCTS.COM VCPN APRIL 2016 // 57 F & E tie and a certain kind of suit, and then there's the Wall Street guy who still wants to look quite appropriate but he wants to have his own personality. VCPN: I know that rock and roll is a seminal design theme. How do you merge your classic men's styling with rock and roll? Varvatos: When we started the com- pany in 2000, it was just an organic thing that was part of my own person- al DNA, my history and my love for a certain kind of style. So I sprinkled it throughout. It has evolved over time, and it has become magnifed by the amount of artists who we work with and the amount of press that people talk about this subject. I just feel like my brand embodies an edge that I guess is perceived as being rock and roll and my love for music. VCPN: How different is it designing cars and then shoes and then eyewear while maintaining your own kind of fashion identity and theme? Varvatos: The difference between an ophthalmic frame or a sunglass is very different than designing a car. But I will say that the same viewpoint on attention to detail and connectivity to my brand runs through everything that I do. In fact, I don't think that we look like anybody else in the eyewear world. In the end, it's not putting the logo on it; it's really how you express your identity in something that still is accessible, wearable, interesting, lead- ing edge whatever your goal is at that moment. We're working on a collection called the Detroit Collection in eye- wear right now that's infuenced by in- teresting details that were inspired by the automotive industry. VCPN: Over the past couple of de- cades, men's eyewear has largely been very traditional, utilitarian and con- servative. Aviator styles or the rimless look were probably the most popular. Do you see men now embracing more fashionable, colorful or expressive eyewear ? Since he began his menswear fashion business, Detroit native John Varvatos' name and brand have be- come synonymous with Old World artisanship and rock and roll fair. He's received numerous awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, was named GQ's Designer of the Year in 2007 and, in 2013, he published his frst book, John Varva- tos Rockin' Fashion. His brand now extends to an entire lifestyle that in- cludes eyewear in collaboration with REM Eyewear. VCPN spoke to Varva- tos about how music has infuenced his brand, the new era of style-con- scious men's eyewear and how critical it is to walk to your own beat. VCPN: Who do you think you ad- dress with your style of fashion? John Varvatos: He's somebody that has a creative spirit, whether he's a writer, an actor, a musician, an artist, a photographer. It's somebody who em- bodies some creativity within them or has a burning desire to be somewhat creative and maybe never found the outlet for it. VCPN: So it's not a Wall Street guy necessarily. Varvatos: There's the Wall Street guy who has to wear a certain kind of Varvatos: For sure. In the last 10 or even in the last fve years, if guys had an ophthalmic frame, they had one, and if they had a sunglass, they had one. Today, guys have multiples of all of those things for different parts of their life. They've become more play- ful with their clothes, and eyewear has become a huge part of that. It can add to their signature style. VCPN: What drew you to REM ini- tially when you were looking at eye- wear as a category you wanted to work in? Varvatos: I loved the personal touch at REM. I loved the passion for my brand. They loved my brand and they had really done their homework. They were customers, which was great, so they really were believers. VCPN: When you started your mens- wear collection at the turn of the new century, you decided to go black-less. So obviously you went against the grain. Do you consider yourself to be an iconoclast? Varvatos: You know, that's a big ques- tion, but I really just consider myself somebody who walks to his own beat. I'm not a follower. I'm aware, for sure, but I do my own thing and [follow] my own passion. You'll win if you walk to your own beat. The Musician's Designer LL Cool J wearing John Varvatos sunwear from REM

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