Home Nightlife Fixx hangs out with John Varvatos.

Fixx hangs out with John Varvatos.


FI: What do you think of the Banana Republic ad campaigns using OK GO and other musicians?

JV: Well they’re obviously biting off of me. It’s nice but not as good and the best I can say is that I’m flattered.


You see? Everywhere you look, someone is copying someone, one corporation inspired by another. The BR campaign would never exist without the Varvatos campaign with Franz Ferdinand. Johnny Walker Black wouldn’t exist without a blend of 40 different whiskies. Goldilocks would have never existed without Reynard the Foxx. Hell, this city wouldn’t even exist without it’s millions of immigrants. If Varvatos is flattered, then I am flattered too. I decide to interview someone else.

“And what might your name be?”


“A beautiful name. And what do you do Ava?”

“I go to school, I’m in the 5th grade.”


One of her chaperones interjects, “Tell him who your daddy is.”

“John Allen.”

“Dadzooks. I have to meet him. What’s he do anyway?”

“He makes hair care products.”

“I bet he does. Anything you want say to the anyone reading?”

“Lauren is the best!”

Turns out Lauren is her sister who I thought was her mother, but not because she looked old enough to be, she didn’t, I just imagined Mr. Allen might fancy younger stock is all. Time to go find Daddy.

And there he is, like Mad Max, way beyond Thunderdome, with a heavy leather jacket and mighty friendly face.

JA: You have no idea who I am or what I do, right?

FI: You got it, fill me in.

JA: For 20 years I’ve run the best men’s grooming center’s in the city. We have four locations here and a new on in Chicago.

FI: That’s great. So you obviously think that male grooming is an important part of being a man. It seems like a lot of the things offered these days to men as far as grooming goes is what women themselves do, does any of it make sense? Do men really need to be so styled and groomed?

JA: Well everyone is different and everyone has different levels or how far they want to take it. Even you for example. I can see you take care of yourself. You probably use cologne?

FI: I do not.

JA: Well deodorant even?

FI: Nope.

JA: Fine, but I can tell by the way that you’re dressed that you like to make an impression on people and that’s all it is. We all are trying to convey something about ourselves without saying it and grooming is one way of doing it.

My god, he’s absolutely right. All this time I’ve been thinking I’m simple and I’m just as complicated as the next. The boots, the suits, the ties. What makes a fox a man or a man a fox these days anyway? Is it walking upright on hind legs? A good taste for scotch? An impressive collection of rock & roll memorabilia? Is it concealer? Could it really be concealer?? The truth is, I do not know. Perhaps I need to go back to the forest to find out. Maybe that’s what I’ll do. But for right now I’ll have one more Balvenie on the rocks, I’ll try to be nicer to Goldi and see what else I can learn about her scotch. My boots may be shined, my tie clip sparkles, but I’ll keep my furry crotch and musky armpits, and for tonight I’ll sleep, just little bit happier ever after…


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