Thursday was a high-profile day for John Varvatos, a Detroit native and contemporary menswear designer, who opened an upscale shop in downtown Detroit.
During the day, Dan Gilbert put on a news event at the shop to promote Friday’s debut at 1500 Woodward Avenue in the Wright-Kay building, one of the many buildings downtown that Gilbert owns.
Then at night, Varvatos attended the Detroit Red Wing game at Joe Louis and ended up saying a few words on the electronic scoreboard for all to hear.
“I’m so excited and stimulated,” he said Thursday, as he showed off his store during the day, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It felt magical to be home and welcomed back to the city.”
Frank Witsil of the Freep writes:
Varvatos’ styling — supple leather jackets and high-end jeans — seems appropriate for Detroit. (The 59-year-old designer did, after all, grow up in Allen Park, graduated from Eastern Michigan University and has his name on a limited edition 2013 Chrysler 300.) But, to some Detroiters, the clothing also may seem pricey. (T-shirts made just for the new store opening go for nearly $100.)
The store’s look is a mix of old and new — cast iron columns and neon — and it sells more than clothes. It also offers books, electric guitars, vinyl records, photos of musicians, shoes, sunglasses, watches and jewelry, and can be set up for free after-hours concerts.
John Varvatos was born in Detroit and grew up in Allen Park.
He joined Polo Ralph Lauren in 1983 and went on to Calvin Klein where he headed menswear design and oversaw the launch of the men’s collection and the cK brand.
In 1999, he started his own company and clothing line. He soon opened his first shop. Now, he has shops around the world.
Deadline Detroit, March 13, 2015