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Q&A With John Varvatos

The John Varvatos show generated the biggest buzz of the Milan men's shows so far with a surprise appearance by Kiss. WWD caught up with the designer.

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MILAN — The John Varvatos show generated the biggest buzz of the Milan men's shows so far with a surprise appearance by Kiss at the end of his show. Backstage before the show, the designer talked with Women's Wear Daily about superheroes as inspiration and the reason he's working with the rock 'n' roll legends.

WWD: What were some of the inspirations for the collection?

John Varvatos: I wanted to give a superhero sense to the show. Every guy, at some point growing up, wants to be a superhero. And fantasy can be reality. But the collection isn't grungy. We were thinking if [the band members from] Kiss got married, what would they be married in?


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WWD: What superhero did you want to be? 
JV: I wanted to be Superman. And Kiss. They were my superheroes.

WWD: Fantasy: How do you make saleable clothes on the back of that?
JV: I had been wanting to do a fantasy show, with clothes that everybody wears. And the models all want everything. I'm psyched.

WWD: How long will Kiss be here, and what else are you doing with them?

JV: They flew 17 hours here [from the U.S.] and arrived at 11:00 pm[on Friday night]. They're leaving on [Sunday morning]. Last year, we filmed a video at our store in the Bowery. We invited 250 people, and all we said was that we were recording a music video. No one knew who was performing, and they left their phones at the door and had to sign an NDA. Kiss played for two hours - an entire set. It was amazing, and it was the smallest venue they had played in 40 years. In Milan last summer, they played to an audience of 35,000 people - and that was one of their smaller shows in Europe. They have played to 60,000 in Helsinki and 100,000 in Tokyo. And the audiences are young.