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Smell Test: John Varvatos Artisan Acqua


With his stellar track record, nobody is doubting John Varvatos’s fragrance chops these days.

But when a sample of Artisan Acqua, his latest citrus-and-basil-laden scent, made its way into Kempt HQ with the oddly specific claim to “embody the panache and leisure of the Mediterranean man who, without overthinking, achieves high style and an effortless nonchalance,” we couldn’t not be curious.

Fortunately, we have protocols in place to handle such skepticism. And so it was up to our resident bloodhounds/writers to take a good, strong whiff of the stuff and put into words what their noses were telling them.

Their olfactory musings, after the jump.»

Bold Move: Zachary Quinto Wears a T-Shirt with a Three-Piece Suit


In this new series, we analyze the sartorial risks and rewards of the moves taken by men far bolder than your average menswear enthusiast. Results may vary.

Zachary Quinto showed up to the TCA Fox All-Star party in a typically dapper three-piece suit by John Varvatos. Except he ditched the shirt and tie for a plain charcoal T-shirt. That’s right, a T-shirt and three-piece.

To the video replay:»

Willie Nelson Cleans Up Nice in John Varvatos


This picture comes from our friends at John Varvatos, who’ve put Willie Goddamn Nelson and his sons in tuxedos for a photo shoot and interview at Des Moines’s iconic Salisbury House. Willie was already a lock for the most badass octogenarian on earth when he turned 80 this year, but we never imagined the legendary outlaw musician would clean up so nice (though his counter-culture roots still show by ditching the bow tie). While they were there, the Nelson boys sat down to talk about growing up on the road, hitching rides with Johnny Cash and the like.

We’ve got the video and the rest of the photos after the jump.»

The Weekend Sales Report Card

Weekend Sales

We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend...

For Handsome Sweat-Protection: Check out the quality undergarments over at Choctaw Ridge, because they’re all 15% off this weekend with the code FATHER15. Discount: B- Sizes Available: A Selection: A-

For That Sought-After Edge: The boys at Rogue are slashing 30% off select merchandise for their summer sale. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: A Selection: A

For Weathering the Elements: Shield yourself from that cool summer breeze with jackets and sweaters on sale at French Garment Cleaners for 20% off retail. Discount: B Sizes Available: A- Selection: C+

More of the good stuff on sale, after the jump.»

Todd Snyder Partners with Champion, Kids Are the New Accessories

Todd Snyder

There Will Be Sweats: Todd Snyder previews his new collection with Champion, aptly named “City Gym.”

Children as Accessories: The Cut breaks down the 10 types of people you’ll encounter at Fashion Week.

Controlled Substance: As part of John Varvatos’s new website launch, they’ve started profiling gents of character (and often with 5 o’clock shadow).

Get Layered: Wax Wane finds some good inspiration for layering cardigans and sweaters with your sport coat.

Top Coat, Top Hat


Good news for Varvatos fans who can’t make it down to CBGBs: The rock star designer just launched a newly redesigned site and, more importantly, an eCommerce shop, offering gear pulled direct from his runway shows. The soundtrack? “Sharp Dressed Man,” naturally.

Motor City Madness


It looks like John Varvatos will be getting a bit more rock cred in the form of his very own radio show, kicking off this evening with a live show from the New York Dolls’ record release party in his Bowery shop.

Of course, we’ll have to wait to see what his picks are like, but indications so far are that the show will focus on Detroit bands and fellow travelers, which makes us pretty damn excited. From Smokey Robinson to Juan Atkins, the city’s done more for American music than anywhere else we could name—we’re looking at you, Memphis—so it’s nice to have someone on the airwaves spreading the gospel. Even if we get the feeling he’ll be sticking to the earlier end of the spectrum.