Attention guys: John Varvatos’ secrets to amping up your sex appeal and developing strut-worthy confidence. New York fashion designer John Varvatos just may be the coolest designer on the planet. Not only does he regularly hang out with rock legends like Joe Perry, Robert Plant and The Killers, but he hosts his own weekly show on Sirius Radio. The award-winning menswear designer has become the go-to guy for any up-and-coming band looking to hone their image and look. (Watch out for new American singer-songwriter Jackie Greene, John’s current musical obsession.) He recently sat down with us to share his pro-tips on how to amp up any guy’s cool factor.
- Go for leather
“A leather note in a men’s scent really smells modern and hip to me right now. I find the combination of leather and a brand new fragrance ingredient called red ginger super interesting. There’s a cool spiciness that gives it an edge. Add in a few woody notes and you’ve got something young and modern.”
- Don’t try too hard
“Who has the best rock swagger today? I have to say Lenny Kravitz. I had dinner with him once and the guy was so innately cool. His style looked so effortless. (Although I’m sure he puts effort into what he wears.) He wasn’t trying too hard to be something. You could tell he was comfortable in his own skin. He was a pretty badass guy.”
- Confidence, not cockiness
“The guys with the best style pay attention to the little details. They aren’t trying to look edgy. They just find little ways to stand out such as a pair of great cufflinks or a scarf. The biggest turnoff is someone blatantly trying to be something they are not. In our office, we say you want to be an “about to be” not a “wannabe.”
- Dress to impress
“Years ago, bands would look to leather jackets and distressed jeans for photo shoots. Today, young artists come to us and ask for suits. They want to dress up – just not like their fathers. They want to wears vests and suits. The look reminds me of how Led Zeppelin dressed in the mid-70s.”
- Look for an MVP perfumer
“I’ve worked with master perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Rous on all my fragrances. He brings such a passion and talent to the art of designing a scent. That’s what makes (Star) USA so special. You won’t find another scent like it. It’s masculine and young.”
60 seconds with John Varvatos
- A perfect Saturday night out for Varvatos involves walking around New York City’s East Village and finding live music at small clubs. “You can find 12 different bands playing in one block. And they are all up-and-coming acts.”
- The must-have menswear item is a longer tailored jacket.
- The key to a great scent is the right percentage of ingredients. It’s all in the mix.
- Band to watch: The London Souls