John Varvatos is set to bring his rock ’n’ roll-inflected style to the boys’ market.
The designer will launch a range of tailored clothing and sportswear for boys ages 4 to 14 with licensee Peerless Clothing this fall under his John Varvatos USA label. The new line will be carried in 35 doors this fall, including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Fred Segal.
“It’s mom-friendly, it’s sophisticated, it’s edgy and it’s very much our handwriting,” said John Varvatos, chairman and chief executive officer of John Varvatos. “When you look at the boys’ tailored clothing market, everything is pressed and pristine — and we have some of that in the line for a graduation or bar mitzvah. But we also add that flavor we do in men’s, with a vintage sensibility and a little bit more rustic attitude. It doesn’t look uptight — the tailored jackets can be worn as an outerwear piece with a T-shirt and jeans.”
The deal with Peerless, which is headquartered in Montreal, builds on the license the suit maker already holds for men’s tailored clothing under the John Varvatos USA label. Peerless assumed that business when it formed a strategic partnership with tailored clothing manufacturer George Weintraub & Sons last year.
“John Varvatos represents a look that is young, exciting and different than any other designer boys’ line in the market,” said Ronny Wurtzburger, president of Peerless Clothing. “John believes in boys’ and it gave us an additional opportunity to work with him.”
Boys’ has been a growth area for Peerless, with the division expanding sales at a rate of 20 percent a year, according to Wurtzburger. Additional licenses in the Peerless boys’ portfolio include Joseph Abboud, Michael Kors, DKNY, Elie Tahari and Hickey Freeman, in addition to the owned Tallia Orange brand.
“Peerless really owns the tailored boys’ business, but they haven’t really stretched their wings like they have with us and made it a collection,” said Varvatos. “Ronny and I had a conversation about doing boys’ tailored and I said I didn’t want to do just tailored, I wanted to do a whole lifestyle thing. We really thought about who this kid was, from school to weekend to party and special events.”
Signatures in the boys’ collection include bold linings in the tailored jackets, dagger buttons and skull, peace sign and starburst graphics on T-shirts. The peace sign logo also adorns polo shirts.
The suits in super 110s and 120s wool fabric retail for $285, cotton dress shirts for $70 and skinny ties with peace sign or fleur-de-lis motifs for $55. There are tailored jackets in corduroy, embossed faux leather or crinkled cotton velvet for $160 to $175, stretch five-pocket jeans in black or indigo for $82 to $98, Henleys and waffle hoodies for $65 to $86 and graphic T-shirts for $45 to $50.
Longtime footwear partner Converse has made a special line of its iconic high-tops in black leather or olive suede, with metal zipper details for the collection as well.
Bloomingdale’s will launch the boys’ line in 10 doors, including 59th Street in Manhattan, Short Hills in New Jersey, North Michigan Avenue in Chicago and Century City in California. It will be positioned in the Young World department, adjacent to boys’ lines from Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss and Scott James, with the latter two new to Bloomingdale’s for fall, as well.
“The line has both casual and dressy offerings, making shopping for everyday and special occasions a breeze,” said David Fisher, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for men’s and kids. “John Varvatos has an edgier, sophisticated aesthetic that will have our boys emulating the men who favor the brand. Over the last several seasons, we have anchored our Young World assortments in brands that have proven successful in men’s and women’s.”
The boys’ license joins other existing John Varvatos licenses, encompassing fragrance with Elizabeth Arden, eyewear with the Basecurve division of REM Eyewear and Converse for the Converse by John Varvatos line of casual sneakers.
The company is in the final stages of negotiations for an underwear license, which will be revealed in the coming weeks, added Varvatos.
The John Varvatos USA men’s line, which uses a star as its emblem, was launched in 2006 as a younger counterpart to the brand’s Collection business. Priced 30 to 40 percent lower than Collection, the USA line emphasizes a preppy-meets-rock aesthetic in its vintage-inspired denim, sportswear, tailored clothing, footwear, bags and leather goods. The men’s line is carried at about 500 doors, including Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Barneys New York.
The boys’ launch is the first major initiative for the brand since it was acquired by London-based Lion Capital in March from VF Corp. However, Varvatos, who retains a minority stake in the company, said the license with Peerless was initiated last year while VF still owned the brand.
“It’s been fantastic. They are very like-minded thinkers in terms of the brand and protecting the brand,” said Varvatos of his new partners at Lion Capital. The private equity firm, headed by Lyndon Lea, has not taken a day-to-day role in the company, added Varvatos. “They’re not operators, they’re investors.”
John Varvatos is aiming to open four to five new stores in 2013, adding on to the nine it currently operates. Potential locations include Chicago, Miami, another New York location, additional West Coast locations and London, which would be the first international store for the brand. Current John Varvatos stores include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Costa Mesa, Calif., Malibu, Calif., East Hampton, N.Y., and two each in Las Vegas and downtown Manhattan.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)