Designer John Varvatos serves as celebrity mentor on "Fashion Star," NBC's reality competition series that will search for the next great brand.
Varvatos grew up in Detroit - the music melting pot of America - where Motown, rock 'n' roll, blues, jazz and punk melded together in an unforgettable period of music history. At an early age, he was exposed to defining musicians including The Who, Led Zeppelin, Detroit's own MC5, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger and The Stooges. The creative spirit, electricity and edginess intrinsic in the personal style of these rock 'n' roll icons inspired him and influenced the evolution of his eclectic sensibility.
Varvatos' designs often draw inspiration from the past only to repurpose these ideas into something entirely new. The resulting collections reflect the quality and attention to detail inherent in old-world tailoring, while creating luxurious, comfortable clothing for a modern lifestyle.
Varvatos joined Polo Ralph Lauren in 1983. Recruited by Calvin Klein in 1990, he was appointed Head of Menswear Design and oversaw the launch of the men's collection and the influential cK brand. In 1995, he returned to Polo as Head of Menswear Design for all Polo Ralph Lauren brands and created the highly successful Polo Jeans Company.
For Fall/Winter 2000, Varvatos launched his premiere men's collection and in the same year was recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) with the Perry Ellis Award for New Menswear Designer. He received a second CFDA award for Menswear Designer of the Year in 2001; the successive honor was an unprecedented achievement in this category.
In 2005, Varvatos was once more recognized by the CFDA with the Menswear Designer of the Year Award. In 2007, GQ magazine named Varvatos Designer of the Year in its 12th Annual Men of the Year issue. Spring 2009 saw the launch of "Born in Detroit," a monthly show he hosts on SIRIUS XM's Faction channel. The show includes songs from various artists who have influenced Varvatos throughout his career in fashion, as well as interviews with special guests and live performances by various artists.
Fans can follow Varvatos on his music blog "JV's Fun House," which gives fans insight into the designer's recent trips to concerts, festivals, parties and backstage jam sessions around the world.