John Varvatos Talks Villa One

Composure took a moment to speak with one of the fashion world’s greatest, John Varvatos, on how his close friendship with Nick Jonas led to creating a fantastic brand that imbues their love for life and great company. Working alongside the Godfather of Tequila, Master Distiller Arturo Fuentes, to make their premium tequila, Villa One, three products have been successfully on the market since 2019: Silver, Reposado, and Añejo — marking a quick progression with their third collaboration together. Fast forward through a long pandemic, we are excited to learn what’s next as Villa One grows beyond the bottle. This definitely isn’t a short venture but an empire in the works. 

Tell us more about the decision to collaborate on tequila and create Villa One?

I met Nick Jonas at a dinner party in New York about seven years ago- we immediately hit it off and realized that we have a lot in common, including a shared love of tequila! The first project we worked on together was a fashion collaboration, then a fragrance. Then after enjoying and talking a lot about our spirit of choice, we decided to launch our own tequila company—Villa One. In 2018, we took a trip to Mexico and stopped in Cabo San Lucas to brainstorm and have some time with family and friends before heading to Jalisco to meet with our Master Distiller, Arturo Fuentes, and start working on the tequila.  

What do you feel sets Villa One apart from other tequila labels currently on shelves?

When we started, we knew we wanted to create a best-in-class tequila that was more accessible to the average consumer, and we feel like we accomplished that! From day one, it has always been about the liquid. One thing that really sets Villa One apart is that we source agave from both the highland and lowland regions of Jalisco. We are one of the few tequila brands that do this, and the process combines herbaceous, earthy lowland notes with sweeter, fruitier highland notes – giving the tequila a unique character, a distinct rounded profile, and smooth finish.

The energy surrounding our trip is what led us to developing Villa One’s entire brand mantra. At dinner one night, after a day of great food, drinks, and time with the people that matter most to us, Nick made a toast and ended it by saying, “To Life As It Should Be.” That really stuck with us and became the focal point to what we want Villa One to be about: spending time and creating memories with loved ones, accompanied by some amazing tequila, of course! 

Can you tell us what you enjoyed most about the process from the start to the first bottle produced?

My favorite part of this process has to be the incredible people I have met through this brand and seeing people enjoy Villa One for all of life’s celebrations. That’s why Nick and I created Villa One in the first place, to help create meaningful moments and bring people together. We have been so fortunate to be able to offer opportunities for our fans to create those moments themselves. Recently, we launched our “Your Villa One” campaign where we asked people to share their “Villa One” — the physical place and the people they are with when they feel their happiest — for the chance to win a dream getaway to a destination that brings that vision to life. We did a similar contest last year where you had the chance to win a trip to One&Only Palmilla, the resort we stayed at in Cabo, where it all started. Bringing these moments to life for fans has been really fulfilling and fun! 

How was it working with Master Distiller Arturo Fuentes, the Godfather of Tequila?

When we were creating the liquid, we really looked to Arturo for his expertise. We learned so much about the process working side by side with him and going through many rounds of the taste tests. The process took about 18-months in total to create our final product, and we are so happy with how it turned out. There is a reason he is called “The Godfather of Tequila,” and I am honored to have been able to work with him.

Possibilities for Villa One to expand in the future?

We have some really exciting things happening for the brand, including the opening of the Villa One Tequila Gardens later this summer, a rooftop bar, restaurant, and nightlife destination in San Diego. We wanted to create a special place where people can go to unwind after work or feel like they are escaping on the weekend. Nick and I were really involved and specific on the vibe we wanted to create, focusing on everything from the design of the space, the decor, the menu, the uniforms, and even the playlists. We are excited for the grand opening and are looking forward to bringing the concept to more cities! 

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