The latest campaign for the John Varvatos brand brings together music legend Jimmy Page, the guitarist of ?the greatest rock and roll band of all time? Led Zeppelin, paired with the 28-year-old emerging American music talent Gary Clark Jr. The images were shot in London by Danny Clinch, against a textured backdrop at the historic Rivoli Ballroom, where the two sharply dressed subjects stand out in an iconic black and white portrait.
Self-taught from the age of twelve, English guitarist, songwriter and record producer, James Patrick "Jimmy" Page has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for being a band member of The Yardbirds (1966-68) and Led Zeppelin (1968-1980). Led Zeppelin was one of the major driving forces behind the rock sound of the 1970's, influencing a host of other guitarists and countless future rock bands. Jimmy Page and surviving band members of Led Zeppelin were recently honored in Washington DC with President Obama at the Kennedy City Honors annual gala.
Born and raised in Austin TX, Gary Clark Jr. has played the guitar (like Jimmy) since the age of twelve and is described by the New York Times as being "the next Hendrix."Influenced by blues, jazz, soul, country as well as hip hop, this young musician is a natural triple threat guitar-slinger, emotive singer and involving songwriter. Gary recently joined The Rolling Stones on stage at their first American concert in six years in Brooklyn in December. He has also shared the stage with Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews Band, and The Roots and has recently recorded songs with Alicia Keys. His debut album "Blak and Blue" was released in October to rave reviews. Gary notes that "it was an honor to work with John Varvatos on his new campaign and to be paired alongside a legend like Jimmy Page for this shoot."
According to Stephen Niedzweicki, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of YARD and longtime Varvatos collaborator, "This season, we kept the campaign very simple with beautiful, classic portraiture. In my mind, the subjects themselves were strong enough to create an impactful image. We had the legendary rock guitar god, Jimmy Page, alongside Gary Clark Jr., the next generation of a guitar-slinger. The beauty and strength of the image was brought to life through its juxtaposition and simplicity."
Photographer Danny Clinch adds that "this time around we took inspiration from the portrait studio sessions of the past - straightforward, elegant, but still Rock and Roll. I have also always been a fan of the great portrait photographers - Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and David Bailey. They always had a simple elegance that worked well when musicians were their subjects. Classic never goes out of style."
The full campaign was shot at the famed 1950's art deco Rivoli Ballroom in South London; a hall that featured Tina Turner back in the day and where bands such as The White Stripes and Kings of Leon have performed on stage more recently. Varvatos felt this location was the perfect backdrop for the campaign's short film. The piece opens with Gary performing "When My Train Pulls In" alone on the Rivoli stage. The director cuts back and forth to Jimmy in a cab and on the streets, making his way to the ballroom and it ends just as Page enters. The film leaves the final outcome to the viewer's imagination.
"Jimmy Page has been a music and fashion icon of mine since 1970. He has been a major influence and I am honored to call Jimmy a friend," says designer John Varvatos."Gary Clark Jr. is the real deal - amazing guitar player, singer, songwriter and friend. Having 'The Master' and the 'Young Guitar-Slinger' together in our campaign is a dream come true."
In the brand's Spring 2013 campaign, Jimmy Page wears a John Varvatos black asymmetric multiple button closure convertible peak lapel jacket, black notch lapel vest with multi button front closure, dark grey dress shirt, black silk tie, custom straight leg slim fit pant and Parisian double zip boots in gunmetal. Jimmy also wears John Varvatos angular shape sunglasses in gunmetal in select shots. Gary Clark Jr. wears a Lichen green linen/viscose asymmetric closure peak lapel cutaway jacket with split lapel seam accompanied by the matching vest and wide straight leg dress pant, "Bowery" boots, and in some shots, Gary wears John Varvatos retro sunglasses with guitar head detail in dark brown tortoise.