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John Varvatos: My designs are identifiable

John Varvatos: My designs are identifiable

Designer John Varvatos thinks the key to his success is the distinct "aura" his pieces radiate.

The fashion star launched his eponymous label in 1999 and it's become one of the most successful menswear labels in the industry. Although there's plenty of competition out there, John feels confident in the knowledge his recognisable aesthetic helps his creations stand out.

"I think it boils down to the fact that we have very much our own definitive look," he told theglobeandmail.com on the key to his victory. "We’re not just doing clothes. In the end, guys are buying it as a jacket, or a leather garment... but we have a very identifiable look that is still very accessible. And we have this aura that has an edge to it, too. Guys like a little bit of that and girls like their guys to have a little bit of edge. So I think we’ve been true to who we are. We constantly push out the walls and we pay attention to all the details – from the fabrics to the leather finishing to the handworkmanship to the yarns."

He's definitely done something right, as he's received several big accolades during his career, most recently scooping the Designer of the Year honour at the ACE Awards on Monday (02Nov15). With a wide age range of customers, John doesn't think too much about which generation of males he's appealing to. Instead, he sees age as more of a psychological aspect than a physical one, believing men will always "think younger".

"I was working in our store last Saturday and there was a father in his mid– 40s trying suits on with two young boys," he recalled. "One was probably 11 and one probably 13. And the 13-year-old had our Converse sneakers on that he was buying, and he was asking the guy if they have a small in this rock T-shirt and he was showing his dad, and his dad said, 'Yeah, those look great!'... And then I look around and there’s (actor) Ian McKellen in the store, who’s seventy-something years old, who’s buying pieces."

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