If you’ve never been to the John Varvatos store in New York City, that might be understandable. However, if you don’t know what once stood at 315 Bowery where the store is located, then you probably shouldn’t go there in the first place. Once the home of seminal punk rock club CBGB’s, the Lower East Side retail location has maintained a rock and roll attitude, even if some of the upscale men’s clothes they sell costs more than what most bands that played there can afford. The store is laid out like a cross between victorian goth and steampunk, And with Guns N’ Roses playing two shows at the MetLife Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, NJ tomorrow and Sunday, it made the perfect setting for John Varvatos’ first-ever pop-up shop.
Today at noon, the store opened with a two-hour celebration. The first 50 fans in line got a free Guns N’ Roses concert shirt, and everyone there could enter to win one of two concert packages that included two ticket and two “Welcome to the Jungle Pit Experiences.” But of course, once you were inside, the GN’R merch, from both JV and Bravado, was the big ticket item. There were a series of shirts, hats, vests and jackets available, and if you never owned Appetite for Destruction on vinyl, you could pick up a copy for $25. The shirts ranged in price from $40 to $80, with the higher-end designs exclusive John Varvatos designs that you could only get at the pop up store. There were also custom denim vests ($250) and one of a kind hand painted leather jackets ($950) for those not necessarily on a budget.
The big surprise was that at 1:30, about an hour and 15 minutes after doors opened, bassist Duff McKagan showed up, making it worth the pilgrimage for the fans that came out and waited in line in 90 degree heat. We got a few pictures of some of the fans that came out to the store.
Kevin, left, and Steve work for the New York Fire Department. They said that a crew of about 16 of them were going to go the concert on Sunday.
Vanessa, shown here contemplating buying one of the custom leather jackets, was going to attend both Saturday and Sunday’s shows.
Sole, left, and Pablo are originally from Spain, and have been following the band around. They’ve seen them at Coachella, and other shows, and were going to attend both nights of the show. Pablo is holding one of the 50 free shirts.
Jennifer and her daughter Ivanna were excited to be at the store. While Jennifer is going to the show tomorrow, she’s leaving Ivanna at home.
John, left, and his dad, also named John, were both looking forward to seeing Guns N’ Roses for the first time this weekend. The younger John says that they were the first rock band he started listening to. If you look closely, he’s rocking a King Diamond shirt, which makes him even cooler. His dad appears to have done just fine bringing him up.
The Guns N’ Roses pop-up shop will be at the John Varvatos Bowery store at 315 Bowery until 8pm tonight, from 11-8 on Saturday (23) and from Noon-6 on Sunday (24). More information on the location here.