Growing up in Detroit, Rock City of the 1980s, designer Cody Varona got her first taste of fashion while sweeping the floors of a local garment company. In her spare time, she would hand screen-print logos of her favorite bands on shirts for her and her group of friends, before hitting the clubs at night. This creative outlet, and undeniable penchant for design, spiraled into a career in fashion.
Varona began to design for an up-and-coming punk fashion brand and would take off to Los Angeles, New York and London to catch her favorite punk and rock band with whatever time and money she could scrounge together. Steadily, her gritty, yet glamourous, music-injected style began to emerge. People were starting to notice the chick with the wild hair and clothes to match, and everyone wanted to know where they could get clothes like hers.It wasn’t long before.
Cody found herself making custom clothes for the Detroit glam-rock music scene. While punk and rock bands strutted her studded and laced leather designs onstage throughout the Midwest she had begun to expand her creative reach to further express fashion as art. By channelling some of her favorite bands like, T-Rex, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, and Roxy Music, she quickly became the go-to designer for the growing club kids scene.
Varona opened her first store after moving to LA in the 90′s, The Catwalk, where she and other designers of a similar rock aesthetic could showcase their wares. Eventually she operated stores out of LA, Las Vegas and Orange County, and she became known as a design goddess to the bands and celebrities who flocked to her store for custom fittings. Varona found her true passion when she transitioned from doing individual custom pieces, to creating the look for an entire tour out of leather, metal, and cloth.
Today, Cody is the mistress and mastermind of Melrose Avenue’s rock-wear mecca, The Congregation of the Forgotten Saints clothing store. Working with stylists, and artists in the music and entertainment industry, Varona’s store and Forgotten Saints line of clothing is for those who live the life and are crave the wearable art. When you enter The Congregation of the Forgotten Saints, you’ve entered the inner-sanctum of rock royalty. Once you walk out wearing one of Varona’s labors of love, you’d better be prepared to do it justice by throwing back a shot, cranking up the volume and banging your head.
Cody Varona conjures custom pieces for individuals and styles entire looks for tours by hand. She has worked with everyone from Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses to Buckcherry, Black Eyed Peas, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and more… You can find her presiding over her congregation at The Congregation of the Forgotten Saints, 7569 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. 323.655.0589