Take Two: John Varvatos and Paul Weller

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Paul Weller and Miles Kane for John Varvatos A/W12

In light of their second collaboration, the menswear maven and rock icon talk enduring friendship, musical influences and the importance of style subcultures

Paul Weller: “Growing up, the first time I became aware of music and clothes, the two were very much entwined. If you were into a band because you liked their music, you also liked the way they looked, their shoes and their hair – the whole thing. I think that music and fashion were much more entangled; they said something about you and defined you as a person. I don’t think it’s the same anymore, not in a big, cultural way.

“The post-war years in this country were so tribal: teddy boys, mods, skinheads… But you don’t have that anymore. There’s a good and a bad side to it: the bad being that you don’t get so much individual expression because people pretty much wear the same stuff, but the good side of it is that you can go out and not get beaten up all the time!”

"In the past, music and fashion were much more entangled – they said something about you and defined you as a person" – Paul Weller

John Varvatos: “When I was growing up, if you loved the Rolling Stones, then you loved their look. Whoever it was, it just made it even better if you loved everything about them. The last time that happened was the grunge era, which was bad fashion but people purposefully dressed that way. Then there was also Madonna thing where there was thousands of girls imitated her style, but there really hasn’t been influence from the music industry the same way in recent years.”

American menswear designer John Varvatos and British icon Paul Weller share a mutual love of music and style. As Weller rose to fame as the side-burned and suited frontman of The Jam, his distinct Mod stylings became as readily identifiable as his music, while Varvatos was looking to Jimi Henrix, and Weller himself, as he launched his career as a designer, moving swiftly from Ralph Lauren to Calvin Klein to form his own eponymous fashion house in 1999. But it wasn't until 2012, when the designer invited the musician to star in his Mod-inspired A/W12 campaign alongside Miles Kane, that the two finally met, striking up a firm friendship. Last week marked the opening of their second collaboration – this time for Weller's clothing line, Real Stars Are Rare – in the form of a pop-up shop hosted by Varvatos in his Conduit Street store. The installation, situated on the basement floor, boasts a capsule selection of Weller's timeless menswear designs, alongside limited edition boxsets and Weller's book, Into Tomorrow

The World of Paul Weller pop-up store is at John Varvatos, London until September 24.