John Varvatos is going it alone next season.
Instead of showing during New York Fashion Week in February, the designer will present his line off-calendar on Friday night, Jan. 26 — the start of Grammys weekend in New York. The Grammy Awards are returning to Manhattan on Jan. 28 for the first time since 2003.
Varvatos, whose line is known for its rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and who uses music stars in his advertising campaigns, said he had planned to throw a party that weekend anyway and when the dates for the men’s portion of NYFW were shifted a week to coincide with women’s, he decided to do his show at the same time.
“It came about organically,” he said. “We weren’t sure we were going to show again in New York and had talked about doing a party as early as last fall, so when they moved up the dates we thought it would be a fun thing to do.”
The show will be held at a former synagogue on Norfolk Street on the Lower East Side. “It’s a beautiful space and we’re going to do something special in it. It’s one of those hidden treasures. The front doesn’t look like a synagogue,” the designer said.
He said the show will be entitled “John Varvatos 2.0” and will showcase a “different look” for the brand. While declining to provide too many details at this point, he said that while his design team is “inspired by the early things, we started this company 18 years ago and it’s a whole different time. So we’re going to be cranking it up and pushing the walls out. I think there’s going to be a very fresh look to the show.”
At this point, he’s not sure if any music celebrities will be walking in the show but he expects there will be a lot of them in the audience — “both young and classic people who are in town for the Grammy’s,” he said.
He also believes that the date will allow press and retailers to attend. The Paris men’s shows end on Jan. 21 and NYFW: Men’s does not begin until Feb. 5.
“We get a lot of buzz, energy and business from our shows,” Varvatos said. “They’re important for our brand.”
Varvatos had shown his collection in Milan for seven years but was the marquee designer when the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched NYFW: Men’s in July 2015. He has shown several times after that as well but did not participate last season.
“I’m an American designer and we try to support it,” Varvatos said of the men’s wear initiative. “But we thought this would be a fun kickoff to the season this time.”