The Roots Star in Fall 2011 Campaign.

July 2011 — New York, NY ­— For his latest ad campaign, John Varvatos has chosen four-time-Grammy-winning group The Roots, currently the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Photographer Danny Clinch shot the band at Republic Airport in New York, capturing them as they de-plane like true rock royalty, making the most of their moment of grand arrival.

The Roots are as fluid and amorphous as the hip-hop culture that they spawned. The influential and critically acclaimed Philadelphia-based septet has won numerous accolades for their jazz-influenced, eclectic approach to hip-hop. Their fans are as diverse as their music, following the band from Lollapalooza to the Montreux Jazz Festival and Lincoln Center. Defying easy description, The Roots collaborate with a wide range of artists from different genres, and continue to push the boundaries of hip-hop—as in a recent performance of Bob Dylan’s 1963 classic “Masters of War” before a sold-out crowd of hip-hop lovers at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.

“The Roots are one of the most creative musical forces on the planet. Their performances with almost every music icon in the world, of all genres, are mind blowing and inspiring. Working with them has been a highlight in my career,” states John Varvatos.

Stephen Niedzweicki, creative director of Yard, drew inspiration for the campaign from classic images of bands on the road. “The way The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles traveled had a huge impact on the direction for this season’s campaign. Even the design of the tour buses and the way the planes looked back then was mind-blowing—fireplaces, bars, dance floors and full-on performance stages. What style!”

During the shoot, The Roots launched into an improv jam on the tarmac that was captured on video. Danny Clinch and Yard created a short film from the performance that captures the energy of the moment.

This latest John Varvatos campaign follows 14 seasons conceived by Yard and photographed by Danny Clinch, all of them underscoring the brand’s affinity for rock ‘n’ roll style-makers. Past collaborators include Franz Ferdinand, Perry Farrell, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Velvet Revolver, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell, Joe Perry, Ryan Adams, Slash, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Danny Clinch is an acclaimed music photographer and documentary filmmaker who has captured some of the most iconic names in music, including Cash, Springsteen, Dylan and Tupac, just to name a few. The organic feel and texture of his work lets the subjects breathe and the music flow. His work has appeared in such publications as Vanity Fair, Spin, Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, and his photographs have appeared on hundreds of album covers.

Since its founding in 2002, Yard has conceptualized; art directed and produced an award-winning range of work in print and television advertising, packaging, editorial, and product design. This hybrid creative agency blends the expertise of a style-driven fashion shop with the instincts of a consumer-minded ad agency.

Launched in 2000 with a collection of tailored clothing and sportswear, John Varvatos now represents an entire men’s lifestyle that includes footwear, bags, belts, eyewear, limited edition watches, men’s luxury fragrances, as well as the younger, edgier John Varvatos « USA Collection and Converse by John Varvatos. The designer has been recognized three times by the CFDA with an American Fashion Award for New Menswear Designer (June 2000) and Menswear Designer of the Year (June 2001 and June 2005) and was honored as GQ’s “Designer of the Year” in 2007. The collection is distributed in freestanding John Varvatos boutiques across the US, as well as in better specialty stores throughout the world.

The Roots for John Varvatos Fall/Winter 2011