Nick Jonas has changed quite a bit since the days he and his teenage brothers wore purity rings and rocked the Disney Channel.
Now 25 and a solo pop artist with a killer bod and distinct red-carpet style, Jonas is about to unveil his first apparel collection through a new partnership with John Varvatos.
The limited-edition capsule collection will debut for spring, when Jonas will become the new face of the designer’s brand.
Varvatos has used a variety of musical artists in his campaigns over the years, everyone from Ringo Starr and Kiss to Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews. But the capsule will mark the first time Varvatos will share a label with anyone. The collaboration project will sport the label JV x NJ.
Not surprisingly, the collection will have a rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and will range from leather jackets to knitwear.
“This collaboration is unique to us,” Varvatos said. “We’ve never done another collaboration with any artist, any individual, on the product, the design, the aesthetic of the brand. I look forward to doing many more things with Nick in the future.”
Integral to the line is the city of Detroit, whose name appears on several of the pieces.
Jonas said that although he was raised in New Jersey, Detroit is “a great American city and the origin of John’s brand. And this was a cool opportunity to embrace Detroit as a whole. I’ve had the chance to play some really iconic music venues there and I love the city, I love the people, and so we thought, let’s take a great American city and show some love, pay respect to so many musical icons and just great men and women that have come out of there. But I fully intend on doing a Jersey piece at some point, too.”
He said the $98 T-shirt with Detroit in block letters on the front and Rock City with a tiger illustration on the back is his favorite piece in the collection. “I’ve been wearing it and my friends are all begging for pre-orders,” he said with a laugh.
Detroit is also called out on a hoodie that will retail for $168 with the tiger illustration on the front and Rock City running down the left arm.
Jonas said the origins of the collaboration were “really organic. I met John at a dinner — we were seated next to one another and just hit it off. We talked about music, fashion, where we came from. After the dinner we stayed in touch.” And eventually, they decided to work together.
“The process in working with Nick is amazing.” Varvatos said. “He’s a musician, he’s an artist, he’s an actor, he’s intrigued by everything in the world and I had a real connection with that. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style.”
Jonas said he’s been a fan of Varvatos’s work and has worn several of the designer’s pieces to both public engagements and more private events. “So it felt like the perfect fit for me,” he said.
This also marks the first apparel collaboration for the singer who has previously partnered only with Creative Recreation on a sneaker line.
“It has been incredibly educational,” he said. “I let John take the lead, but he was also open to my ideas.” He visited the designer’s studio in New York and looked at the pieces from the archive and then they worked together to re-imagine the shapes, silhouettes and fabrics to something that spoke to him. “It really was a collaboration,” he said.
The result is a seven-piece collection that Jonas hopes will “become staples in every guy’s closet.” That ranges from leather jackets and basic T-shirts to jeans and snap-button shirts. Prices will range from $98 for the Detroit graphic T to $1,698 for a suede shirt jacket. The collection will be sold at Varvatos’ stores, on the designer’s e-commerce site and at Nordstrom, which is the exclusive retail partner for the collaboration.
Jonas describes his personal style as “all about what’s comfortable and feeling confident,” he said, whether that’s jeans, T-shirts, leather jackets or suits. “I like classic pieces with bold colors and prints. I love fashion and exploring different things.”
Since the process of creating a capsule with Varvatos was so enjoyable, he said there may be more Nick Jonas apparel in the future. “This is a really good start,” he said. “I was able to build something unique with someone I like. And it was fun, which is important. I never take myself too seriously, especially when it comes to fashion.”
The shoot for the ad campaign was fun, too. Jonas is pictured on the streets of New York wearing pieces from the capsule in ads that were produced by longtime Varvatos collaborator Yard and photographed by Danny Clinch.
Although Jonas may be among the youngest faces to be featured in Varvatos’s ads, the singer said, “In speaking to John, we saw it as an opportunity to bring something different to our fans. [His line] appeals to a range of ages.”
Jonas said he will promote the capsule and the campaign on his social media channels — he has over 13 million followers on Twitter and nearly 14 million on Instagram — and is hoping to “make waves.”
Jonas has been making plenty of waves of late. Since releasing his self-titled debut album in 2014, he has continued to make music while acting as well. He wrote a song, “Home,” for the movie “Ferdinand,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe, and appears in the hit movie “Jumanji.”
“I had a crazy end to the year,” he said, and 2018 is starting off the same. He’s spending time in Montreal shooting Lionsgate’s post-apocalyptic thriller, “Chaos Walking,” which also stars Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, and is scheduled for release in March 2019.
“And I’m now lining up all my next steps, whether that’s touring or working on other development projects,” he said. “It’s nonstop.”