Machine Gun Kelly in the new ads.


John Varvatos has chosen the latest musician to feature in his fall advertising campaign: Machine Gun Kelly.

“As a big fan of his music, I’ve followed Machine Gun Kelly’s career as he’s risen from the streets of Cleveland to an international star,” Varvatos said. “Not only has his music evolved but so has he. Our shared passion for music, Midwestern roots and living life with a rebel spirit has bonded us in friendship.”

Kelly, a musician, rapper and actor, added: “We’re two rock ‘n’ roll souls who were bound to come together and bridge the gap between generations. Glad it happened this way.”

As he has for the past several years, rock ‘n’ roll photographer Danny Clinch shot Kelly for the campaign. He is photographed in black-and-white wearing an animal-print jacket from Varvatos’ Wild at Heart fall collection. There is a short film as well that will be shown on the designer’s and Kelly’s social media channels beginning today.

Clinch said MGK’s “rebel spirit is right on point, and it shows that JV is paying attention and is giving us the unexpected icon for this campaign.”

Stephen Niedzwiecki, founder and chief creative officer of Yard, which has conceived the campaigns for more than two decades, said Kelly “represents the future of rock — one that doesn’t define itself through six strings and an amp, but rather one that builds authenticity through intimate connections to audiences. Creatively this season, we developed micro pieces of content that illuminate the meaning behind MGK’s iconic songs and pushed the boundaries of live video on Facebook, specifically meeting his fans where they engage most.”

Past musicians and groups to appear in Varvatos’ ads include Ringo Starr, KISS, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Page, Green Day, The Roots, Dave Matthews, ZZ Top and Alice Cooper.

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