New York Fashion Week doesn’t officially start until Monday, February 5, but designer John Varvatos decided to kick off the runways shows a bit early. Ten days early, to be exact.
The reason for the off-calendar showing? Well, the rock ‘n’ roll obsessed designer was looking to get in on the Grammy Award action—also making this a good time to unveil his collaboration with Nick Jonas.
On Friday night, the usual parade of editors, influencers and celebrities (including all three Jonas brothers, Iggy Azalea, Harry Connick Jr., Gina Gershon and RJ Mitte), filed into the Angel Orensanz Center in the Lower East Side for Varvatos’ show, which featured a collection stuffed with cushy knit sweaters, skinny crushed velvet suits, plenty of downtown cool shearling coats and an ample showing of antique-looking leather jackets. It was a slight deviation from Varvatos’ usual aesthetic of black leather motorcycle jackets and combat boots—in fact, the models were actually wearing leather sneakers, which nicely accented the neutral-hued clothing. According to the designer, this was John Varvatos 2.0, where every outfit was finished off with a knit beanie.
At the end of the show, the models congregated on a stage at the back of the venue, where Varvatos joined them, dressed in a grey t-shirt that read “Equality.” Then, the boys whipped off their hats and put their hands over their heart, as a rock version of the National Anthem blared. The designer and his models stayed in place for nearly a minute, allowing the statement to sink in.
Surely, a t-shirt emblazoned with a message of peace and acceptance won’t be the only politically charged declaration made during New York Fashion Week. But hold tight, the shows are just a few weeks away, and are sure to feature plenty of support for the #MeToo campaign, Planned Parenthood and the communities under attack by the Trump administration.