John Bates (born 1938 Ponteland) was a fashion designer who was part of the boutique scene that blossomed in London in the 1960s.
Bates apprenticed under Gerard Pipart at Herbert Sidon. From 1959 he began designing under the name Jean Varon.
Bates' work as Jean Varon in the 1960s was particularly modernistic. He designed dresses with bare midriffs, sheer panels, and very short hemlines, and as early as 1962 was designing high-fashion plastic garments. In 1965, one of his dresses with a mesh midriff was chosen as the Dress of the Year and donated to the Fashion Museum in Bath, which in 2006 held a major retrospective show of his work.