JV Bowery photos © Getty Images for John Varvatos
From the streets of Cleveland to acting in films and being an international music star, Machine Gun Kelly, more commonly referred to as MGK, has quite an extensive resume. And now DE RIGO REM tells 20/20 he’s the face of JOHN VARVATOS’ Fall/Winter 2017 campaign. “Not only has his music evolved but so has he. Our shared passion for music, Midwestern roots, and living life with a rebel spirit has bonded us in friendship. I am extremely excited to have MGK as the face of the JV brand for our Fall ’17 campaign,” says John Varvatos. This shared ambition and “rebel spirit” make the collaboration between the two a perfect harmony. Varvatos has long been rooted in music and as an artist exuding not only energy but true passion for rock, MGK is able to perfectly capture the aesthetic of the brand.

The campaign will showcase the brand’s evolution as portrayed by one of music’s most progressive new artists. The result is black and white imagery and video that showcases a triumphant mix of the past and present exhibited through content that also highlights the meaning behind some of MGK’s most iconic songs. Captured by esteemed rock and roll photographer Danny Clinch and independent creative company YARD, the campaign illuminates the brand’s ability to highlight artists who align with its aesthetic. “MGK’s rebel spirit is right on point, and it shows that JV is paying attention and is giving us the unexpected icon for this campaign,” says Clinch.

Varvatos and MGK celebrated the new campaign during New York Fashion Week with a performance by MGK himself at the John Varvatos 315 Bowery store, formerly CBGB. The packed house was audience to never before seen life-sized cutouts of the Fall/Winter 2017 campaign images featuring MGK. After Varvatos introduced the musician, MGK took the stage in the limited edition lynx print coat featured in the campaign imagery and gave the crowd a live glimpse of the rebel spirit that he clearly shares with Varvatos. “We’re two rock and roll souls who were bound to come together and bridge the gap between generations,” says MGK. “Glad it happened this way.” We couldn’t agree more.

–Anna Smutny