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John Varvatos: Men need accessories too

John Varvatos: Men need accessories too

John Varvatos feels accessories are often disregarded in men's fashion.

The designer will pick up the Designer of the Year honour at the ACE Awards, hosted by the Accessories Council, on Monday evening (02Nov15). He'll be recognised for his impressive collection of shoes, marking the first time a menswear brand has received the award.

“It’s rewarding for our team and company,” he told WWD. “It says a lot about what we do. I sometimes feel like menswear, especially in the accessories world, is never really acknowledged, so I’m very honoured... The biggest misconception about men’s accessories is that men don’t care about them that much. In the last five to ten years, guys have more shoes in their closets then women do.”

John's label boasts a huge variety of footwear, including casual sneakers, different kinds of boots and a collaboration with Converse. He's very clear that footwear was no afterthought, but has always been a key part of the brand's identity.

“We weren’t a brand that got into accessories later - it was a big part of our business from the day we launched,” he explained. “We really made a mark in boots. When you talk to people around the world, ‘I love your boots’ is one of the first things people say to me. And another thing has been our Converse footwear. I’m super proud of our relationship with those guys, and it’s been a signature product out there for many, many years.”

Nadja Swarovski will also be honoured at the accessories ceremony in New York. She will pick up the Legacy Award, which marks the company's impressive longevity.

“I think a lot people are surprised that Swarovski is 120 years old,” she said. “When people visit us in Austria they are absolutely amazed to understand where we come from. Visitors expect an industrial plant and are overwhelmed by the incredibly beautiful and natural environment. The nature and the state of our factory reflects our care and consideration of not only the environment, but also the dignity the family business has for its manufacturing and for taking care of its employees."

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