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Trendsetters at Work, John Varvatos

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

As a leader in menswear, John Varvatos' line is more than just the clothes—it's all about the attitude. This brand is the edgy guy's dream. Not to mention, the refreshing rock 'n' roll fashion house never fails to capture the attention A-list clients (we're talking Zac Efron, Joe Manganiello and more!).

After showing yet another killer collection earlier this year at New York Men's Fashion Week and launching his new Dark Rebel fragrance, we caught up with Mr. Varvatos himself on everything from his first fashion gig to his new record label. Don't be shy—read ahead to hear from the designer himself.

Trendsetters at Work, John Varvatos

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What was your first job?
My first job other than cutting lawns and cleaning pools was in a men's store in Detroit. I was 16.

How did you get started in your career?
I worked my way through college selling in a men's store. Went on to opening my own store and then taking a job with Ralph Lauren 

What is a typical day like for you?
I get up at 6 a.m., do a quick workout and then get to the office by 8 a.m. My day is filled with design, marketing, fittings, business reviews and on and on. I leave the office somewhere between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. and either go and listen to music or try to get home to put my daughter to bed.

John Varvatos, Men's Fashion Week

JP Yim/Getty Images for John Varvato

Tell us about your office décor. When did you last give your office a makeover? 
My office is like a rock 'n' roll museum. It's filled with gold records, photos, posters, guitars, books and other memorabilia. I also have a killer McIntosh audio system with turntable and tons of vinyl records. It is in a constant state of makeover. 

What's the best part about your job?
The way my passions of design and music have converged to create the dream job. I guess its jobs plural now that I also started John Varvatos Records. 

What do you usually wear to work?
Jeans, T-shirt, leather jacket, boots.

Trendsetters at Work, John Varvatos

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What three staple items should every guy keep in his wardrobe?
An authentic feeling leather jacket, killer pair of boots and a great fitting dark suit. 

Who are your favorite celebrities to dress?
Too many to choose. I'm just blessed that so many love my clothes. 

What's the biggest mistake men make when picking out new clothes/putting together new outfits? 
Trying too hard and looking that way. 

Trendsetters at Work, John Varvatos

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Who are some of your career heroes?
Ralph Lauren, Steve McQueen, Jimmy Page and Jimmy Hendrix

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
Leaving my amazing job as head of design for Ralph Lauren Men's and starting my company.   

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Be true to yourself and always raise the bar.

Trendsetters at Work, John Varvatos

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… sushi and miso soup. 
The first website I log onto every day is… Johnvarvatos.com.
My usual Starbucks order is… don't drink Starbucks.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would… love to be an architect.
My favorite place to visit is… my lake house with my family and friends.
List five things that are on your desk right now… messages, new music, my daughter's picture, a new shoe design and my European trip schedule
The book I'm reading right now is… The Girl on the Train.