Upfront

Mar
2014

Dear John Varvatos

Stop it. Please... just stop. Just when we thought we had our fill of your rockin’ ad campaigns featuring the most influential and timeless acts in rock ’n’ roll including Cheap Trick, Iggy Pop and ZZ Top, you top yourself again with your spring 2014 campaign featuring the one and only KISS.

We get it... KISS took the music world by storm back in the ’70s when they debuted on the scene in extreme face makeup, scandalous costumes and showstopping live concerts. Four decades later, they have earned an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and remain among the most high-profile rock bands of all time, inspiring music and fashion fans across the world and defining the rock legacy of their genre. It’s no wonder KISS is the subject of your new campaign, which was inspired by their notorious album “Dressed to Kill,” and portrays the four band members wearing wool Donegal suits, French cuff dress shirts, lapel vests and silk ties from your apparel collection, and sunglasses from your eyewear collection from Rem Eyewear, which has appeared countless times in the pages of 20/20. The band’s trademark black and white face makeup contrasted with your tailored clothing gives a whole new meaning to their original “Dressed to Kill” garb from back in the day. Add the work of famed rock photog Danny Clinch, who also shot your past campaigns featuring an impressive lineup of rock ’n’ roll style-makers and who brilliantly framed the foursome against the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn in tribute to the band’s NYC roots, and you have once again achieved the ultimate rock ’n’ roll ad campaign.

We understand you were inspired by KISS’ superhero personas and working with them has been a highlight of your career and life. And KISS front man Paul Stanley returns the love, calling you the “epitome of rock ’n’ roll fashion.” Clearly there’s an all-out rock ’n’ love fest going on here, but we want no part of it. Maybe because we are green with rock envy, but quite honestly, it’s getting a little embarrassing that every time you do something groundbreaking, we feel the burning desire to tell your story in the pages of 20/20. It’s an addiction that will likely never end.

Oh, but who are we kidding? You’ve now graced the 20/20 cover twice and allowed us to follow you around for a day. You’ve graciously signed your 20/20 March 2013 cover story at Vision Expo for our readers, and even specially signed copies of your first book John Varvatos: Rock in Fashion, which Ed-in-Chief James Spina proudly holiday-gifted to the team (and quite possibly, the most rockin’ gift we’ve ever received). And have we mentioned, WE LOVE YOUR EYEWEAR?

With that said, we forgive you. Don’t stop what you’re doing. Cuz we’ll keep obsessing, and we’re not afraid to show it. Keep on rockin’... and keep dressing ’em to KILL.     

—Christine Yeh

 

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