The Detroit-born Varvatos held top jobs at Polo Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein before channeling rock style – distressed leather, burnished hardware, beat-up boots – into his own line. From his flagship New York boutique (former tenant: CBGB), he puts a sleek, downtown spin on seventies-rock peacocking. Even his go-to vacation spot, the island of Mustique, has rock cred: "You'll have occasional Mick Jagger sightings," Varvatos says, "but I think the reason he goes is nobody bothers him. It's very small – there are only two or three bars there – but it's my favorite place because it takes me away from everything."
Wearing a Wire
"On a number of our soft sport coats, we've put a wire into the lapel so you can look as crisp as you want or bend the wire and look imperfect. It lets you go from elegant to disheveled, day to night, however you wanna be."
Sticking Your Neck Out
"Our guy is looking for things that are unique but that work season to season. Neck scarves are a huge part of our business. It's like guys wearing colorful shoes – finding that place to experiment, that little pop that's fun but not outside the comfort zone."
"It's hard for me to do a total technology shutdown, but I was just on vacation and decided, 'I'm only looking at my phone once a day,' usually after I'd had a cocktail. And if there was something frustrating in the inbox, I could just order another."