|7/22/2016 by Nick Williams
Today (July 22), luxury menswear designer John Varvatos and Bravado, the merchandising arm of Universal Music, launched the fashion brand's first-ever pop-up shop inside the walls of their Bowery Store in New York City -- fittingly, the former home of legendary rock club CBGB. The occasion? The companies' exclusive new collection of merch for Guns N' Roses, feting the rockers' Not in this Lifetime Tour and return to the city with a two-night run at Metlife Stadium (July 23-24).
Varvatos and Bravado's three-day pop-up will house an exclusive collection of the band's merch, including six one-of-a-kind painted leather jackets ($950), limited edition numbered bombers ($425) and 2 exclusive John Varvatos designed concert tees ($78), alongside the band's official tour merchandise, featuring a range of tees ($40-$65) and jackets ($500), plus -- of course -- jean-vests ($250) and trucker hats ($25).
Kicking off the festivities today from noon until 2 p.m. ET, Varvatos and Bravado invited Billboard inside for a sneak peek before opening the doors, as diehard fans lined up outside for the special in-store event, which featured a DJ set, plus a giveaway of the GnR 'NJ Electric' Event Exclusive tee for the first fifty attendees. Guests also had the opportunity to enter to win a chance to see the rock legends at their East Rutherford, NJ performance Sunday July 24, with VIP tickets for the -- wait for it -- "Welcome To The Jungle Experience" (a $2K value), which includes an exclusive backstage tour and invitation to Paradise City lounge.
For Varvatos, the pairing couldn't have been a more organic fit. "I'm a huge fan of GnR, and we are excited to welcome our friends from the band to NYC," the designer told Billboard. "I know there are a lot of Guns fans out there and hope they come out to celebrate with us. Working this collaboration with Bravado has been inspiring."
Bravado, who oversees merchandise of all stripes for its artists -- from tea towels to key chains -- is no stranger to exclusive pop-ups, having just recently launched one with VFiles and Justin Bieber. “We really wanted to create something that celebrates Guns N’ Roses and their epic Not in This Lifetime stadium tour. At Bravado we are constantly looking to give our artists opportunities to elevate their fan’s experience and we are excited to partner with John Varvatos on this collaboration," Bravado CEO Mat Vlasic told Billboard. "With John, who is also part of the Universal Music family, we were able to deliver a retail and merchandise experience that lives up to the passion of Guns N’ Roses and their fans.”
The GnR pop-up will be open during usual store hours.