American Marketer


John Varvatos, McIntosh pair to celebrate Jane’s Addiction album release

September 26, 2011

John Varvatos


Menswear designer John Varvatos paired with upscale audio company McIntosh Laboratory to build brand awareness and display products through the celebration of the upcoming album from the rock band Jane’s Addiction Sept. 19 at Soho House in Los Angeles' West Hollywood district.

Jane’s Addiction’s new album, “The Great Escape Artist,” was played on McIntosh speakers during the event for celebrities, press and various customers of the brands. The new album is due out Oct. 18.

“John Varvatos is an avid music and audio enthusiast, as well as a collector of fine equipment,” said Linda Passaro, global vice president of sales and marketing for McIntosh Laboratory, New York. “He shares McIntosh’s passion for great music and quality audio, so our partnership is a very natural one.

“John had previously shown some vintage audio gear in his boutiques, which have music memorabilia throughout as part of their décor,” she said. “These luxury listening experiences allow us to reach new high-net-worth customers who love music with our message of fine sound quality.

“McIntosh wants to educate and demonstrate the difference you feel when you listen to music on a true world-class system.”

John Varvatos is a menswear designer with collections of tailored clothing, fragrances, watches, belts, bags and footwear.

McIntosh produces cutting-edge technology and equipment, most notably amplifiers, speakers and car speakers.

Addicting performance
Members of Jane’s Addiction including Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins, Chris Chaney and Perry Farrell were present for the vinyl listening experience in California last week.


Jane's Addiction at the John Varvatos/McIntosh party

“The Great Escape Artist” was played on McIntosh’s Soho system, allowing listeners to experience the emotional impact of the music heard through the brand’s audio player, per McIntosh.

Music regularly plays a role in John Varvatos’ marketing strategy.

For instance, the brand emphasized its edgy, grunge vibe by advertising rock group Urge Overkill’s new album, Rock & Roll Submarine, on its social media sites.

John Varvatos previewed the new album on the brand’s Web site, Facebook page and blog. The campaign ended in a live music event at the John Varvatos flagship store in New York (see story).

The brand has an ongoing campaign with The Roots and previous partnerships with Dave Matthews and ZZ Top.

Brand founder John Varvatos and his designs were influenced by the creative spirit, electricity and edginess of rock ‘n’ roll music, per the brand.


The John Varvatos/McIntosh party

In harmony

Luxury brands are increasingly relying on music to connect with consumers in their niche audience.

For instance, Tiffany & Co. continued the lifestyle flaunt of its What Makes Love True microsite and mobile application with a sponsorship on Internet and mobile radio service Pandora (see story).

Additionally, premium tequila Patrón is giving three rising stars the chance to shine if they submit their acts to the XO Café Music Project where they can receive advice from industry experts and promotion, touring or recording packages (see story).

In addition to partnerships with different rock groups, John Varvatos is furthering its music experience by offering McIntosh sound systems in its stores as part of its inventory.


John Varvatos sells McIntosh products

Upscale brands need to provide an exclusive customer experience in their stores, which is why some believe that music and the luxury industry go together.

“A true luxury music experience in the home is really only for discerning customers – those who want to enjoy the ultimate in quality performance in all areas of their life,” Ms. Passaro said. “So why not in their expression of music?

“Luxury brands are about providing an exclusive customer with an enhanced feeling about the products they purchase,” she said.

“In a world of digitally-compressed music, there are still many people who want to appreciate how the artist intended their music to be heard."

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York