HELLO, HOZIER: John Varvatos has tapped Andrew Hozier-Byrne, the Irish musician, singer and songwriter for fall, his first color campaign, WWD has learned.
“I had a connection when I first heard his song ‘Take Me to Church,’” said John Varvatos of the musician known as Hozier. “I call him a renaissance man. He’s a young man who looks at the world, at all the things that are happening, and how people are treated. He’s a bit of a poet, and he’s a very handsome guy. All the boxes kind of checked. He was already a customer and was such a pleasure to work with.”
The musician describes his personal style as functional, and said he likes Varvatos’ work “from his shoes to his jackets.”
The campaign, photographed by Danny Clinch, features the Grammy-nominated musician in the fall range which includes a dégradé coat, a shearling motorcycle jacket, a leather peacoat and a hand-knit, merino and alpaca shawl cardigan. This is Varvatos’ first color campaign.
“We shot at this place called the Art Factory, which is in New Jersey,” Hozier said.
“There’s an old factory, and on top of that, a newer building. But it goes right down to these tunnels that are kind of embedded, built right into the rocks, right inside the mountain,” he added. “We did a lot of the shooting down there, which was cool. We did the live session of the song ‘To Be Alone’ which is on the debut album. So it was like an acoustic solo performance.”
Alongside the campaign, the brand will release an original music video directed by Clinch and produced by Yard, a branding agency. Inspired by Bob Dylan’s concert performances in the Sixties and Seventies, the video will also feature Hozier performing “To Be Alone.”
The campaign will break in the September issues of GQ, Vanity Fair and Robb Report, which hit newsstands in August.
Next up for the brand is a new store opening in New York in August at the side of the World Trade Center in the new Oculus.
“That’s only a few weeks away. It’s an amazing building, one of the architectural wonders of the world, really,” Varvatos said. “A very special place, it’s a kind of hallowed ground there. It’s been a long haul to get it open with a construction process there. But we’re very excited to finally see it come to life.”
“We’re just continuing to push our brand globally,” Varvatos added. “We have a lot of global expansion with the brand right now. We just opened in Moscow, and we’re looking for additional stores around the world right now as our business in outside of the United States is very, very strong so we see a lot of opportunity with that.”