John Varvatos Opens Store at Hard Rock
John Varvatos Enterprises is pleased to add its second John Varvatos Bowery NYC concept store to its growing roster of free-standing stores, bringing the grand total to ten. This latest incarnation is located inside the newly renovated Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Inspired by the authentic vibe of the original Bowery boutique (housed in a space that once was the home of seminal underground music club CBGB’s) and by the rich musical history of the Hard Rock, the new Bowery NYC is a subtle and sophisticated counterpoint to the standard glitz of Las Vegas.
Like the New York Bowery space, the 3,000 square-foot Hard Rock boutique is a venue where fashion and music can live and groove together. Since John Varvatos’ early days in Detroit, his exposure to the unique and edgy personal style of rock icons from Alice Cooper to The Who inspired the designer and influenced the evolution of his eclectic sensibility. The Bowery NYC concept is close to Varvatos’ heart and represents an opportunity to fully express his personal passions. The designer is excited about creating a new and special version of this concept specifically with Las Vegas in mind and looks forward to bringing it to life in other locations equally steeped in musical culture.
“Beyond my vision of fashion, I feel like we’re also bringing a unique bit of rock ‘n’ roll culture to Las Vegas. We’ll be hosting great events like live concerts, record release parties and live broadcasts of my “Born in Detroit” show on Sirius, so it will be a gathering place for both fans and artists,” said Varvatos.
The store features a stage similar to the one in the New York City Bowery location, with top-of-the-line gear including a backline provided by Gibson Guitars, Marshall amplifiers, Yamaha drums and Zildjian cymbals. The stage and equipment will be used not only for planned events like the opening party, but also for impromptu jam sessions from visiting rockers, stars and shoppers alike.
In addition to all three John Varvatos brands (Collection, Star USA and Converse), the new store is the exclusive Nevada dealer of James Trussart guitars. Made from custom shaped metals, these high-end guitars have landed in the hands of well-known collectors such as Billy Gibbons of ZZ-Top, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, and Rick Neilson of Cheap Trick.
The Bowery NYC store will also showcase an extensive offering of vintage vinyl records and audio equipment; handcrafted rock-influenced jewelry; and vintage clothing, including rare denim, leather jackets, concert tees, belts and boots.
As is often the case in Las Vegas, the space is new, but the Varvatos team has infused this location with the character and patina long associated with the brand. Found objects from Paris flea markets handpicked by Varvatos himself include enormous blackened steel doors and a gigantic factory fan transformed into a table top; vintage smoky mirrors and chandeliers; and industrial stage lights. The walls will feature only the rarest of show posters for some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll, as well as familiar and unpublished work from some of the world’s most respected rock photographers including Jim Marshall, Danny Clinch and Mick Rock.
There will be a 30 ft. video wall that will play host to the most iconic rock videos of all time, in addition to being a background for live performances, through various camera angles and multi media light shows.
The honest design of the new storefront exposes the industrial hardware of blackened steel and glass sliding doors. Walls are made of black brick and oxblood painted wood, and the wood floors contain occasional planks of blackened metal stamped with Varvatos hallmarks of authenticity—a technique the designer discovered in a French factory. The overall effect is subtle, with a richly textured, rough-hewn elegance.
The store’s opening party will feature legendary rockers Cheap Trick, fresh off a recent tour promoting their newest record entitled, “The Latest.” Comprised of four members, Bun E. Carlos, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson, and Robin Zander, Cheap Trick has sold over 20 million albums and been together for 34 years making and performing unforgettable music. They have been featured artists in the John Varvatos ad campaign.