Adam Kimmel Launches Carhartt Collection with Barneys

Adam Kimmel Simon Doonan Carhartt overalls
Photo: Neil Rasmus/Billy Farrell Agency
Adam Kimmel sees how Simon Doonan would look in a pair of Carhartt overalls.

The first sign that the launch party for designer Adam Kimmel’s collaboration with Carhartt was not your typical fashion party? Rather than celebrating on the sales floors of Barneys New York, the fete was held in the studio where the department store creates its window displays—which meant revelers were entering through a loading dock on an empty stretch of West 31st Street. (One indication that you were in the right place? Champagne was offered before stepping into the freight elevator.)

The next sign? The abundance of overalls in the crowd. “This is the place to see that!” laughed Kimmel, who had tapped the workwear-clad artists George Herms and Paintallica to be a part of the festivities, where they melted CDs over hot plates and etched designs into wood sculptures—and encouraged party-goers to do the same. “These aren’t just random picks of artists, but artists that share the spirit of the two brands,” Kimmel explained, while Barneys’ Simon Doonan and Dennis Freedman looked on. “They’re an incredible group of people.”

Adam Kimmel and Leelee Sobieski
Photo: Neil Rasmus/Billy Farrell Agency
Adam Kimmel and Leelee Sobieski.

It’s only fair, then, that the artists should have a more fashionable take on the Carhartt duds they’d normally be wearing, which is where Kimmel came in, creating navy blazers, plaid work shirts, sweatshirts, and winter-worthy parkas perfect for the rugged man. But inquiring minds—that is to say, the female contingent at the party—wanted to know: When might Kimmel create something they could wear?

“I’m working on it!” he said. “Every season we’re contemplating it, and I’m getting hit over the head by my wife and my mom!” (The wife, by the way, is the statuesque actress Leelee Sobieski, who spent the evening participating in the CD-melting activities.)

“A lot of friends and women buy the men’s clothes in smaller sizes,” he continued. “We’re taking it slowly, but we’ll see!”