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John Varvatos taps frequent collaborators Yard and Danny Clinch to capture rock-and-roll’s evolution for the Fall 2017 campaign


“Rock Is Dead. Long Live Rock,” has been a recurring theme for John Varvatos. The genre and subculture is a tower built on a solid base of music from legends such as the Rolling Stones and the Ramones that empowered a generation to turn their back on tradition and status quos. But what is rock-and-roll today?

The brevity of the tagline is powerful and leaves room for interpretation and discussion. Life itself is finite, put to an end by death, but isn’t death the first step to our soul’s immortality? The John Varvatos Fall17 campaign, created by Yard, shows that the rock-and-roll you may have grown up with is long lasting, ever changing and evolving.

Directed by Danny Clinch, the campaign stars rapper Machine Gun Kelly, who performs a song he wrote about a scorned lover that broke his electric guitar. MGK ironically used the broken guitar to record the song. MGK is an interesting choice to star in the campaign, given his rap credentials, but he is the perfect talent to show rock-and-roll’s evolution.

“The vision we’ve captured in partnership with John Varvatos and Danny Clinch over the years has allowed us to constantly innovate,” said Yard co-founder Stephen Niedwiecki. “For this season’s “Rock Is Dead. Long Live Rock.” campaign, we partnered with musician MGK, who represents the future of rock where swagger isn’t defined by six strings and an amp, but by one’s attitude towards life.”

Creatively this season, we developed micro pieces of content that illuminate the meaning behind MGK’s iconic songs. We pushed the boundaries of live video on Instagram to specifically meet his fans where they engage most, building authenticity through intimate connections to audiences.

- Stephen Niedzwiecki, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Yard NYC

Dead or alive, rock-and-roll is forever. “Long Live Rock.”


Agency | Yard
Creative Director | Stephen Niedzwiecki
Photographer | Danny Clinch
Model | Machine Gun Kelly