Known for his rugged authentic American clothing, Ohio native John Bartlett is a graduate of Harvard University and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). A champion of animal rights. Bartlett launched “John Bartlett Pet” as an homage to his three-legged rescue dog, Tiny Tim.
His fab designs have earned him many accolades, including two Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards: the Swarovski Best Newcomer Award and Best Menswear Designer of the Year in 1997 and the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) named Bartlett ‘Designer of the Year’ for 2010.
What do you do and why?
I would say I’m a fashion designer and animal advocate. I spend my time designing clothing and accessories for man and standing up for the rights of man’s best friend. Recently, I combined my love for both ethical design and animal welfare and created a non-profit The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund, which helps fund independent rescue groups across the country that adopt dogs from high-kill shelters and find them their forever homes.
As for why I design? To me it is like breathing, I simply have to do it, designing comes naturally to me. I am so blessed to be able to be in a field that continues to inspire, seduce and excite me.
I created my non-profit after the loss of my three legged shelter dog Tiny Tim. He showed me how animals are able to persevere in the hardest of situations and overcome great obstacles and really inspired me to do all I can to help those who can not speak for themselves.
Which qualities or talent makes you most successful:
Honestly, I have no idea. Success is completely objective and relative. I suppose I credit my success to working hard at being a good person and living my life in a positive, ethical way.
Who are three people who most inspire you?
So many people inspire me in so many different ways but for the sake of brevity I would say: St. Francis, Al Gore and Russell Simmons.
St. Francis because he is the patron saint of animals, truly the first animal advocate.
Al Gore because he really was one of the first and certainly the loudest public figure to bring awareness of environmental concerns to the forefront.
Russell Simmons because he does so much for many communities and has proven that you can create a hugely successful business empire while still being kind to animals and the environment and leading a vegan lifestyle.
What are you most passionate about?
How to bring the fashion industry into the next century and help create a more environmentally sustainable and animal friendly design community.
What drives you to succeed?
Insomnia, The concept of turning 50 and an overwhelming desire to make a difference everyday.
Learn more about John Bartlett